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Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Villanova Wildcats are ready for March Madness after Big East tournament title

Villanova Wildcats are ready for March Madness after Big East tournament title

Myles scored 27 points to lead the second-seeded Retrievers (23-10) to their second conference title and second trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Guard Donte DiVincenzo was a little more succinct.

Villanova was ready for its climb up the ladder. But you know, we got another game. The tune was familiar, as well.

In describing Jalen Brunson, above, Villanova Coach Jay Wright said Xavier Coach "Chris Mack had the greatest line: He said if you pull down the skin on his face, there would be wires behind it".

Marquette didn't have enough firepower to keep up with the Big East's No. 2 seed, but Markus Howard (23 points, three assists and five made three-pointers) and Andrew Rowsey (22 points, two assists and five made three-pointers) did what they could in the losing effort.

Providence: Will play in the title game against second-seeded and No. 2 Villanova on Saturday evening. The final was 76-66.

Villanova would score the next five points capped off by a Bridges three off of an offensive rebound to take a 56-52 lead with 5:36 to play. They're a team to watch out for in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Jalen Brunson led the Wildcats with a game-high 31 points.

Ed Cooley on Providence's win over Creighton taking them off the NCAA Tournament bubble: "whose bubble?" Bullock hasn't been spectacular all season, never providing a game changing scoring or rebounding threat. It's really that simple. The Big East Freshman of the Year finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds. What makes the team so hard to defend is its ability to move the ball until someone gets an open shot. Providence wouldn't get the ball again in a one-possession situation. To plot his path, he made the pump fake a piece of performance art.

Oh man, I'm speechless. "They're well-coached and they battled the whole game".

"You don't want (a close game) when you start the game", Wright said. A few minutes later Bridges hit another trey and Villanova's lead was up to 68-64 with 2:16 left. His punctuation point came when he attacked the rim for a two-handed dunk with 15 minutes left.

That sets up the finals matchup, with the Friars already having a win against the vaunted Wildcats.

"One more year!" Villanova fans chanted as he was awarded the MOP trophy on a dais afterward.

The Wildcats needed to be tested, and Providence took care of that.

The Mountaineers controlled most of the first half, picking and choosing when to employ their full-court press.

The Villanova Wildcats and the Providence Friars tip off to begin the championship game of the Big East Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 10, 2018 in New York City.

A short jumper by Diallo gave Providence a 60-58 lead with 40.8 seconds on the clock. It was short lived as Bridges picked up a loose ball and hit a layup.

Marcus Foster posted 19 points for the Bluejays, who should also be safely in the March Madness field despite the quarterfinal loss.

"They're a mentally tough team", Bridges said, when asked if Butler got frustrated. It looks more like Seton Hall should get an eight or nine seed in the tourney, but no matter where they are seeded, it looks tough to see this team going far in the Big Dance.

Confetti was blasted into the air.

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