Creighton headed to Sweet 16 for the first time since 1974 after beating Ohio in men’s NCAA Tournament

INDIANAPOLIS — Creighton is in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1974. Did it the hard way, too.

The Bluejays won consecutive games in the men's NCAA Tournament for the first time ever Monday, beating 13th-seeded Ohio 72-58. In Creighton’s previous four trips to the Sweet 16, it was the second round of the 25-team tournament, requiring only one win to get there. The tournament was expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

Creighton faces Gonzaga, the overall No. 1 seed, next weekend.

This is Creighton’s 22nd appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and it has won its first game 10 times. But as a mid-major, it usually has the bad luck to run into one of the top seeds in the second round. Not this time. Ohio upset fourth-seeded Virginia on Saturday, giving the Bluejays an opening.

Bluejays forward Christian Bishop (13) celebrated with Mitch Ballock in the second half. (Photo: Patrick Gorski, USA TODAY Sports)

With Cincinnati Bengals and proud Athens native Joe Burrow watching, the Bobcats made a game of it early and led 20-19 with 7:39 left in the first half. But back-to-back dunks by Christian Bishop sparked a 19-4 run to close the first half. Ohio got within single digits in the second half, a free throw by Mark Sears with 2:26 left that made it 65-56, but the Bobcats missed their next three shots and the Bluejays pulled away.

Bishop finished with a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Four other Bluejays finished in double figures, led by Marcus Zegarowski’s 20 points.

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