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

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Brunson's 31 points places the junior in second place all-time in the BIG EAST Championship Game.

In a matter of hours, Villanova will learn their opponent for the team's first matchup on either Thursday or Friday, once the selection committee officially reveals the bracket for this year's big tournament. Diallo along with lead scorer Rodney Bullock each added 17 points in the win while Cartwright added crucial 15 points.

Bridges dropped in a 3-pointer above the top of the circle to give VU a 63-60 a minute into the period.

Villanova had rolled to a pair of dominant victories in the tourney and held off a pesky Providence team that played its third straight overtime game. "If they play like that, they'll be playing for a long time in March".

The Friars ran out of gas in OT.

Butler was led by Kelan Martin with 13 points and Kamar Baldwin was right behind him with 12.

Villanova leads the all-time series 58-38.

The Wildcats did split two games against Providence but the Friars are coming off overtime games on consecutive nights and will be a heavy underdog.

The Wildcats lead by four at the half, and extended their lead to 12 early in the second frame.

The difference remained 10 into the under 16 media timeout, but Cartwright got the Friars within single digits with a left wing three-pointer.

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

Offensive Rebounds Killed the Friars: It's ironic that Cartwright drew comparisons to Bryce Cotton after the Xavier win. He knocked down a corner 3, converted a traditional three point play, and finished on a hard layup in the first two and a half minutes of the second half.

On the season, Villanova basketball averages 87.2 points, 35.3 rebounds and 16.9 assists per game.

The game was a rematch of the two teams' February 15 game, which Providence won 76-71 by holding Brunson to 14 points. Against the Bulldogs, balanced reigned supreme with all five starters reaching double figures. "Not today!" Only when he charged down the court with 20 seconds left in overtime and slammed a one-handed dunk that put Villanova up by eight did he finally unleash a roar. 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.

Villanova is getting a number one seed in the Big Dance but I know the team wants to go in to as the Big East champion as well.

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

Once again, Providence responded to Villanova's run with one of its own. He can rebound with the best of them and step out to hit jumpers from deep.

Moments later, Diallo evened the score, receiving a bounce pass off the dribble penetration from Maliek White (Richmond, Va.) and finishing a conventional three-point play to tie the game at 23 with 4:03 left in the half.

The drought would have been worse if not for Brunson, who was 2 for 4 in this stretch, sending Villanova to intermission with a narrow lead, 31-27.

ESPN.com's Joe Lunardi now has Villanova penciled in as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and Providence on the No. 10 line entering Selection Sunday.

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