Bluejay Rewind: #15 Jays vs #19 Xavier (12/31/2002)
Ed. Note: “Bluejay Rewind” is our popular summer series that looks back at games from years past, including highlight packages. Not all of these games are classics in the traditional sense, but all of them feature terrific performances from Bluejay greats, and we think you’ll enjoy watching them as much as we did.
The New Years Eve 2002 game between Creighton and Xavier has taken on almost mythical proportions in the 12 years since it was played — a hard-fought game between ranked teams that ended on a buzzer-beater would be memorable, win or lose, but it’s the four-straight three-pointers by Kyle Korver in the final three minutes, each further out than the last, that make this a game fondly remembered by Jays fans, even though it ended in a loss.
Though it was played in relatively recent times, and featured two ranked teams, the game wasn’t televised and highlights weren’t shown in Omaha on the local news. Other than the team, staff, and fans in attendance, Jays fans have never seen a second of this game. That left it to be recalled only through recaps and flashbacks, like this I penned for WBR a while ago, where inevitably the stories turn into tall tales and the game itself becomes almost larger than life.
That ends today, because for the first time since December 31, 2002, and for the first time ever if you weren’t in Cincinnati that night, you can see it with your own eyes. All of Creighton’s baskets are here in the usual highlight reel format, as well as an unedited video of the final four minutes. Were Korver’s shots as long as our collective memories wanted to believe? Not really, except for the final one. Is it still a tour de force? Absolutely. It’s an immensely fun package of clips.
And now, the final four minutes of the game, unedited. At the beginning of this sequence, you’ll see Mike Grimes get fouled by David West while going up for a rebound…and then Kyle Korver walking purposefully to the line to shoot the foul shots, hoping the officials don’t notice. They don’t, but Xavier does, and they motion frantically for the officials to put Grimes — a far inferior free-throw shooter — on the line instead, to no avail, and Korver sinks both free throws.
That’s an All-American slight-of-hand.
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