'Cats Defeat Butler, Advance to Big East Championship Game

12 March, 2018, 06:25 | Author: Laverne Higgins
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Jairus Lyles made a long three-pointer with less than a second left, lifting Maryland Baltimore County over top-seeded Vermont 65-62 inthe America East championship game.

Surely already locked in as a No. 1 seed, Villanova doesn't have much to play for this weekend, but that really hasn't seemed to matter much. "They more than carried their team today and made some tough, tough shots".

Although the start to this one wasn't quite as Friday night's 19-0 burst, the Wildcats jumped out quickly. It's not that he doesn't feel the pressure of having to make two free throws in front of a crowd of 19,812 at the end of regulation; it's that he works to make sure no one ever sees him sweat. For the third time this season, Providence would deliver a crushing blow to one of the Big East's elite, beating No. 3 Xavier 75-72, and reaffirm its growing reputation as giant killers. The Wildcats' onslaught of threes (14 total) was fueled by a ferocious offensive rebounding performance (12 total), led by freshman forward Omari Spellman's seven.

Brunson lost control of his dribble, but Bridges scooped it up at the top of the key and hit a hard 3 as the shot clock expired.

He scored 33 points to lead the Cougars to a 77-74 victory over No. 11 Wichita State in the semifinal round Saturday.

Will the Friars have enough left in the tank to produce a similar effort against the most efficient offensive team in the nation?

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Two 3-pointers by Brunson and a series of defensive stops allowed Villanova to push its advantage to 37-27 less than two minutes into the second half. The lefty star scored the opening eight points, including a three-point play past Cartwright and his fourth 3-pointer.

Leading the way for Butler was Baldwin, who exploded for 32 points, more than double his season average, on 12-20 shooting.

During the second half of the game, eventually won 76-66 by Villanova in overtime, Cooley had a wardrobe malfunction and had to wear a towel around the back of his trousers, ESPN reported. There was one minute to play as the Friars prepared to inbound the basketball in tied game. After four straight from Diallo, Watson hit a turnaround in the lane plus the foul to trim Villanova's lead to 11-9 with 12:40 left in the half. A pair of free throws by Brunson with 30.1 seconds tied the contest at 60. Donte DiVincenzo then missed a short jumper and Providence was in position for the board, but Cartwright and Isaiah Jackson miscommunicated and neither grabbed the ball.

It's expected that the Wildcats would get here, dispatching Marquette in the quarterfinals by 24 points, before thumping Butler right out the gate, for an 87-68 win.

Wes Clark scored 26 points, Nick Perkins added 16, includinga big three-pointer, andBuffalo won its thirdMid-American Conference championship - and the league's automatic NCAA bid - in four years by beating Toledo 76-66. In 1983, Boston College's John Garris tallied 32 points to set the mark.

The Wildcats (30-4) won their second straight Big East Tournament and third in four years (losing in the 2016 final). They've got a lot of different weapons. And again, I think our personalities came. "Old school Big East in 2018".


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