Final Big East tournament bracket: Villanova handles Creighton

Mar 14, 2017, 00:42
Final Big East tournament bracket: Villanova handles Creighton

Creighton's run to the Big East title game was an achievement in itself, though.

One season after the exhilarating rush of winning the Big East Tournament against the Wildcats, the Pirates were now feeling that same biting pain that they gave to Villanova in the title game past year.

In the Midwest, Big 12 Tournament champ Iowa State is the fifth seed in the region, while Oklahoma State earned an at-large bid and will face Big Ten Tournament champion MI as the No. 10 seed.

The second-ranked and top-seeded Wildcats shot 63.2 percent (36 for 57) and committed just five turnovers in a record-setting 108-67 victory Thursday over St. John's in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals. That's not likely, though: Gonzaga beat Arizona, Iowa State, Florida, and other quality teams out of the conference. Villanova G Jalen Brunson scored in double figures in all three Big East tournament games. I was kind of losing it with the ref late in the game, and he came over and was like, .

The Pirates led for 34 minutes in the ball game, but unfortunately for Pirates fans, it wasn't enough to get their team into tomorrow's championship matchup with Creighton.

HARTFORD, Conn. - Gary Clark scored 24 points to lead No. 15 Cincinnati to an 81-71 win over UConn in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday night. Hart would miss his one free throw which was rebounded by Myles Powell.

Friday, 11:45 p.m.: Villanova team manager Art Quaranta, a senior communications major, brings gear back to the team bus waiting outside Madison Square Garden as the Wildcats prepare to return to their hotel. First-year coach Bryce Drew has Vanderbilt in the semifinals for the first time since 2013 with a win that should push his Commodores firmly into the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year.

"Nobody believed in us, and now they do!"

For Villanova, the sky is the limit for the Wildcats.

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Despite a spirited run through the Big East Tournament, the Creighton Bluejays fell to the Villanova Wildcats Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

Jay Wright's squad boasts not only the top contender for the NCAA National Player of the Year on Josh Hart, but also has more veteran guard play in Kris Jenkins - who hit the game-winning buzzer-beater over UNC when the Cats won last year's title, and Jalen Brunson.

They bounced back from Friday's close semifinal win over Seton Hall with an impressive 74-60 effort against a hot Creighton team.

I then spoke with Villanova star and Big East Player of the Year Josh Hart.

Macura had 22 points, including six 3-pointers for seventh-seeded Xavier (21-13).

Creighton's defense was giving a good fight towards Villanova's offense, and they eventually responded with a bucket of their own for a 9-9 tie. It was the second consecutive game that Villanova held its opponent below 30 points in the first half.

Butler's Chris Holtmann was chosen coach of the year on Wednesday and center Justin Patton of Creighton was freshman of the year. He would take a desperation 3-pointer that would find its way through the bottom of the net with 6 seconds left to play. Jenkins, whose 3-pointer won the national championship game past year, had 14.

So what did we learn from Creighton and Xavier?

This Big East Tournament only confirmed what we already knew: the Wildcats are by far the best program in the Big East and they are also one of the best programs in the country. Hart made 9 of 18 shots from the field, including 4 of 8 from 3-point territory, and 7 of 8 free throws. So to have to sit on the bench and watch the biggest game of his life up to that point wasn't easy.