Providence vs. Villanova Predictions: Another Shootout for 'Cats? 3/10/18

Vols know UK will be “hungry to beat us”

Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.at the world's most famous arena.

But all were thrilled to be watching the next generation battle the Providence Friars for Big East prominence.

Cartwright scored 17 of his 19 points after halftime.

Mikal Bridges has averaged 23.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.2 blocks over the last five games for Villanova.

Providence is seeking their third Big East tournament title while Villanova is looking for their fourth title in the last five years.

Jalen Brunson's first sign of emotion in this Big East tournament came, finally, in the closing minutes of its final game. We're gonna play against another monster team, whoever wins. Lacking motivation or not, the Wildcats have absolutely bulldozed their first two opponents in Madison Square Garden, blowing out Marquette in the quarterfinals, 94-70, then jumping out to a 19-0 lead against Butler in the semis and rolling to an 87-68 victory. All season, the Wildcats have been viewed as one of the favorites to be cutting down the nets at season's end, and after seeing their determination to come out on top of the Big East tournament championship over the Friars, it's time for the real challenge. Not only have the Mountaineers struggled against the Jayhawks in Kansas City, they were swept by them in the regular season - blowing a big second-half lead during the game in Lawrence.

Brunson had 13 first-half points and Bridges had 12, as the duo combined for 9-of-14 shooting.

That's when Cartwright and the Friars made their move. Holding Butler to 68 points was another key for Villanova. But a trio of 3-pointers by Kyron Cartwright narrowed the Wildcats' lead to 51-49 with 9:04 to play in the second half.

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Providence would rally to take a 60-58 lead with 41 seconds left in the game.

Despite the effort put in by the Gatorade towel, Providence lost to Villanova, 76-66.

Villanova figures to have the advantage on the offensive side of the ball. Two Friars free throws shaved the gap to 63-62 before Brunson found Spellman underneath the basket for a deuce.

Brunson proceeded to miss the front-end of a one-and-one, giving the Friars a chance to tie the game.

Villanova had rolled to a pair of dominant victories in the tourney and held off a pesky Providence team that finally wilted late in its third straight overtime game. Tabbed as a first round pick by National Basketball Association scouts, Bridges displayed his versatility, gliding across the lane for one layup on the left side of the rim, pulling up for a midrange jumper, driving to the basket on the right side of the rim and stroking a three from the left wing.

For the second straight day, freshman Nate Watson (Arlington, Va.) entered off the bench for Providence and provided an immediate spark.

Providence and Villanova were both able to advance on Friday night. Bullock drained a trey before hitting a turn around, and Cartwright finished with the euro-step to cut the deficit to 21-18. With 11:57 to play in the period, the contest was tied at 11.

After spending a season overcoming injuries, disappointments and doubters, Providence made another statement with one of the greatest comebacks in Big East Tournament history.

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