PHILADELPHIA -- Doug McDermott did what he does best, pouring in 27 points as Creighton held on for a 67-63 victory over Cincinnati on Friday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Bluejays led by as many as eight points with 8:39 remaining on McDemott's layup, but then went scoreless over the next four minutes as the Bearcats rallied to tie, 54-54, with 3:41 left on Sean Kilpatrick's jumper.
Greg Echinique restored Creighton's lead on a layup with three minutes to play, before free throws from McDermott and Austin Chatman pushed the advantage to six with a minute to play.
Then things got interesting.
McDermott was whistled for a Flagrant 1 foul with 53.1 seconds left after elbowing a Cincinnati player, but Shaquille Thomas missed both free throws.
Kilpatrick then buried a 3-pointer from the left wing to cut the gap in half.
Four Creighton free-throws and two Cincinnati baskets meant it was still a three-point game with 24 seconds left, when the Bearcats forced a jump ball, gaining possession and pulling to within one on Kilpatrick's layup with 15 seconds remaining.
Chatman then made two free-throws, the second bouncing and rolling around the rim before dropping through, giving Cincinnati one final chance.
Kilpatrick dribbled around before launching an off-balance 3-pointer from the right wing. The shot missed and Cheikh Mbodj was called for traveling after pulling in the offensive rebound.
Chatman hit the second of two free-throws for the final margin.
Cincinnati hadn't lost its NCAA Tournament opener since 2005. After missing the tournament for the five years that followed, the Bearcats made it to the third round in 2011 and the Sweet 16 in 2012, but couldn't overcome Creighton.
Last year, as a No. 8 seed, Creighton won its tournament opener, 58-57, over Alabama before falling to North Carolina in the third round, 87-73.
McDermott showed why he's been one of the most productive players in college basketball this season, making 7-of-15 shots, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range. The 6-foot-8 Ames, Iowa, native made all 11 of his free throws and also had a game-high 11 rebounds.
Creighton moves on to face No. 2 seed Duke on Sunday in the third round.