For more than a minute Loyola had to be perfect on defense. It meant not giving Louisiana Monroe a chance to get off a 3-point shot to tie or win the game. It meant securing a title for the Ramblers, something that had eluded them since 1963.
It needed a deflection by Devon Turk, who made history earlier in the game by becoming the all-time 3-point shooter in Loyola history. It needed another deflection of a sideline inbounds pass with five seconds left.
It needed ... WHAT?! Why would you foul?
It needed some magic to make sure that free throws wouldn't go in.
With five seconds remaining, Milton Doyle fouled Jamaal Samuel, putting the Warhawks on the line with a chance to make one and then miss the second for a chance at a tie... the old-fashioned way?
It was uncharacteristic for Porter Moser's team which usually plays smart basketball, because that is what Moser teaches his charges, having been brought up under the tutelage of Rick Majerus.
The Ramblers had enough luck left on the night as Samuel missed the first shot and ULM didn't have the chance to put together the magic to potentially score three and force overtime. Loyola walked away with a hard fought 63-62 win, clinching the CBI title.
For the second time this week, it was their offense that helped seal the deal. ULM's defense was touted highly by the announcers in the game, and yes, the Warhawks normally do a good job of limiting the shooting percentage of their foes. But what they failed to mention is that Loyola has an offense far beyond that which ULM saw from most of its Sun Belt foes.
Loyola shot better than 50 percent from the floor for the second game in a row, the only two times that a team has managed that this season against the Warhawks, led by Turk's 14 points on 4-for-9 shooting, all from behind the arc, setting his record.
Milton Doyle added 13 points off the bench, seeming to come at the most important points in the game, and breaking up runs by ULM.
This game showed the tenacity in these Ramblers, who never let the Warhawks get too far away from them. It showed the kind of team that Moser is building in Chicago, if he can keep it together during this offseason.
He will lose Christian Thomas, who scored nine points Wednesday, but he should hold onto the rest of his team, including Turk and Doyle. The last time that Loyola looked poised for a charge, they had defections and injuries that derailed their opportunity. Next year looks like it shouldn't follow that same pattern.
Teams that have won the CBI have made good the next season in the past. VCU used it as a springboard to five NCAA Tournaments. Oregon has been a contender in the PAC-12 since its victory.
Loyola will enter the Missouri Valley as one of the more experienced teams, and with a strong season behind it in which it won 13 games more than 2013-14.
This win might have come at the most perfect time for the program. But that is tomorrow.
Tonight is time to celebrate in Rogers Park.