This was not how it was supposed to end for Doug McDermott and Creighton.
Not with a measly 15 points by one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball history and a blowout defeat in the third round of the NCAA tournament, the same round in which the Bluejays had been beaten the previous two years.
And yet it did end, with McDermott walking off the court, subbed out in the final minutes of an 85-55 loss to Baylor on Sunday night. He hugged his dad — and coach — Greg McDermott before taking a seat on the bench.
"This is the worst we've played all season, and it just stinks that it's the last one," Doug McDermott said. "But that doesn't take away from all my memories here. It's tough to go out this way."
McDermott had spurned leaving for the NBA last season with plans to take Creighton to the first Sweet 16 in school history.
But the Bluejays ran into a streaking Baylor team that was simply too big, too strong and too fast to handle. Creighton's loss in the West Regional bounced the new-look Big East entirely from the NCAA tournament, with all four teams now knocked out.
Isaiah Austin and Brady Heslip each scored 17 points and sixth-seeded Baylor (26-11) shut down McDermott and No. 3 seed Creighton (27-8) with suffocating defense to earn its third trip to the Sweet 16 since 2010.
McDermott finished his career with 3,150 points, fifth-most in NCAA history.
"It's been an incredible journey," Greg McDermott said of his four years coaching his son. "I wish every parent could experience what I had the opportunity to experience. I've had a front-row seat to history, and it was my son who was doing it."
Baylor had five players score in double figures and shot 64 percent in one of the dominant performances of the tournament.
Doug McDermott had carried the Bluejays all season in spectacular style, leading the nation in scoring with a sublime shooting touch and uncanny knack for slithering his way through defenders for layups and putback baskets.
But Baylor's defense gave him nothing: neither space to shoot nor even chances for his teammates to pass him the ball.
And for all the talk about Creighton's maturity and bonding among longtime teammates, Baylor made the Bluejays look small and slow.
Creighton shot 5 of 24 on 3-pointers against Baylor's rugged zone defense and was outrebounded 32-22. McDermott badly misfired on his first attempt, a baseline shot that missed everything.
Baylor, meanwhile, made five 3-pointers in the first 7 minutes. Kenny Chery hit three and when Heslip swished his first, he mockingly shook the fingers on both hands as he loped back down the court.
This rout was just beginning.
The Bears flexed their muscles in a lineup built for the rigors of the Big 12. Austin is 7-foot-1 and he teamed with 6-10 forward Cory Jefferson in the frontcourt. When Creighton missed a shot, the typical result was three Bears under the basket with no Bluejays around.
Baylor's bench was just as intimidating. When reserve forward Rico Gathers pushed his 6-foot-8, 270-pound frame through the lane for a layup, two Creighton defenders were powerless to stop him.
By the time Baylor had built a 20-point halftime lead, McDermott had taken only three shots, made one and had two fouls.
"We knew we had them on their heels," Austin said. "We wanted to step on their throat."
Even when Creighton got a spark — Ethan Wragge made two 3-pointers early in the second half — Baylor matched basket for basket, denying any hopes of a rally.
Jefferson slammed down an alley-oop dunk as Baylor took a 58-34 with just more than 12 minutes to play. Gathers added another rim-rattler a few minutes later, his broad shoulders soaring to the basket to punctuate the night.
"I'm not sure it was Baylor being that good or us being that bad," Greg McDermott said. "Over the course of the season you're going to have a few clunkers. We had one at the wrong time."