Villanova (30-4) is expected to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament come Selection Sunday. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had the Wildcats along with Virginia, Kansas and Xavier as the top seeds entering Saturday.
“We are trying to be the best thing we can be…”– Jalen Brunson after winning the @BigEast 🏆 pic.twitter.com/IsNWTz0Mmc — NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 11, 2018
Providence, which was seeking its third Big East Tournament crown, is a projected 10 seed, per Lunardi. Among the highlights of a tough, gritty, back-and-forth game was Providence coach Ed Cooley ripping his pants in the second half and covering them with a towel.
MOP: Mikal BridgesAll-Tournament Team: Jalen Brunson (Nova) Kamar Baldwin (Butler) Trevon Bluiett (Xavier) Kyron Cartwright (Providence Alpha Diallo (Providence) — Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 11, 2018
Villanova’s two stars came up big in the championship game. Brunson and Bridges combined for 25 points in the first half as the Wildcats built a 31-27 lead. Alpha Diallo led Providence (21-13) with 22 points and 10 rebounds, including 11 points and 6 rebounds in the first half. Kyron Cartwright scored 15 of his 19 in the second half and OT for Providence, including a personal 8-0 run that brought the Friars within 51-49 with about nine minutes left. He also hit a fallaway jumper with 1:37 left to tie it at 58. Diallo gave Providence the lead on a layup off a pass from Cartwright that made it 60-58 with 40.7 seconds left. After two foul shots by Brunson tied it at 60, Cartwright missed a potential game-winning 12-foot jumper and the game went to extra time. Rodney Bullock added 10 points.
Providence Coach Ed Cooley is so into the Big East title game that he ripped his pants. pic.twitter.com/EX0oKmWhYL— Tom Jolly (@TomJolly) March 11, 2018
MIKAL. BRIDGES.Flying through the lane for @NovaMBB #BEtourney pic.twitter.com/jK8zx0gCRW — #BIGEASThoops (@BIGEASTMBB) March 11, 2018