Regular-season Big East champion Providence blown out by Creighton in Big East Tournament semifinals | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / June 21.
  • Regular-season Big East champion Providence blown out by Creighton in Big East Tournament semifinals

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    By HENRY EISENBERG

    NEW YORK — Providence won’t be following up its first Big East regular-season title with its third Big East Tournament championship.

    No. 4 Creighton blew the doors off No. 1 Providence from start to finish before putting them out of their misery with an 85-58 victory at Madison Square Garden. The Bluejays will play in their third final in the last five years of the tournament against No. 2 Villanova, which edged No,. 3 UConn, 63-60, in a thriller.

    Creighton lost in last year’s title game to Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown team and are 0-3 in tournament finals since joining the league.

    Duke transfer Alex O’Connell led Creighton with 18 points, Arthur Kaluma had 17 and Ryan Kalkbrenner and Trey Alexander 15 apiece. Ryan Hawkins posted 12 rebounds and eight points.

    After winning the Big East Tournament in both 1994 and 2014, the Friars were not able to repeat the magic this year.

    As for NCAA Tournament seeding, Providence is most likely stuck on the 4 line and will await their location and draw on Selection Sunday.

    Before this game that is where the Friars stood, according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and FOX’s Michael DeCourcy. The question will be, is a semifinal blowout enough to bump Providence down to the 5 line, and is anyone on the 5 line likely to move up?

    If UConn goes on to win the Big East Tournament, they are one candidate to move up to the 4 line.

    “I mean, that’s something I can’t control,” Friars coach Ed Cooley said. “Hopefully our body of work throughout — I don’t want our seeding to be impacted on one game, you know what I mean? I don’t know what the committee thinks. That’s not my job. I try not to worry about stuff I can’t control.

    “My job right now is to make sure our players know we’re a hell of a team. We didn’t play well. We have great players, and I want us to know we can win our next game regardless of who the opponent is.”

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