What a game. Hope all of you had as much fun as I did. Thank you all for joining us! This is Oliver Gold from VAVEL, signing off.
Villanova will face the winner of Seton Hall-Xavier tomorrow night at 6:00 pm ET on FOX. The Big East proved it is a terrific conference once again.
Villanova also had to play unusual basketball with a lot of foul trouble. Those in foul trouble included Josh Hart, Brunson, and Ochefu. Hart was quiet during the first half, but finished with 12 points. Ochefu made a big difference late on the glass and down low. Jenkins led the team with 21 points, and had a terrific night. Arcidiacono also played great, finishing with 15 points and seven rebounds. This is a dangerous team, and they showed it tonight.
Providence had to play unusual basketball. They are usually led by Dunn and Bentil, but both were quiet today. Bentil fouled out with 9:48 left, while Dunn finished 1-8. Bullock tried stepping up, but it wasn't enough. He led the Friars with 18, including four threes. Providence struggled shooting all night, but managed to finish a respectable 45.1%. They cut the lead to two at one point, but could not get anything going after a timeout. Providence got killed on the glass all night, losing the battle 37-27. They will now head into the NCAA Tournament likely as a 7 or 8 seed.
END OF GAME Villanova is heading to the Big East Championship!
Second Half (0:11) There it is. Hart hammers down a dunk. 76-68. Finishes with 12.
Second Half (0:21) Great pass from Jenkins to find Hart for open dunk, and Cartwright answers.
Second Half (0:22) Dunn takes a long three, and airballs. Villanova basketball. Dunn 1-8.
Second Half (0:36) Providence ball! Hart called for travel, giving it to the Friars down 6.
Second Half (0:43) Hart is fouled by Cartwright, and makes both. Cartwright comes back with another jumper, then Arcidiacono calls timeout during the press. 72-66.
Second Half (1:02) Hart with an easy layup, then Cartwright answers with one of his own. 70-64.
Second Half (1:10) Bullock from three again. He has 18 now. It is just a two possession game, 68-62. Providence hasn't led once.
Second Half (1:26) This looks over. Arcidiacono has played his heart out, he comes up with another steal, leading to Josh Hart getting fouled by Bullock. Hart makes one of two, and it is 68-59.
Second Half (1:43) Makes one of two. 67-59.
Second Half (1:47) Providence cannot rebound at all. After missing a layup, Arcidiacono comes up with his own rebound, and draws a foul of Dunn. Heading to the line for two.
Second Half (2:18) After Ochefu makes 1 of two from a foul from Bullock, Lindsey rims out on a step back shot.
Second Half (3:18) THREEEEE!!! Bullock connects from downtown again, good for his third trey. He leads the Friars with 15. Timeout on the floor, 65-59 Villanova.
Second Half (3:32) Villanova making the most of the rebounds. Ochefu gets an offensive board, and later gets a wide open layup. 65-56 Nova.
Second Half (3:47) Makes both. 63-56.
Second Half (4:10) Great look from Jenkins, as he finds Ochefu for the dunk. Brunson called for an off ball foul, and fouls out. Dunn at the line for two. 63-55 Nova.
Second Half (4:37) Both teams with sloppy turnovers. After Bullock makes a lazy pass, Jenkins steps out of bounds to give the ball back. Timeout on the floor.
Second Half (4:57) AND ONE!!! After waiting patiently for his opportunity, Jenkins gets the layup to go and the foul. He converted on the free throw, and now has 21 points. 61-55 Cats.
Second Half (5:29) Offensive foul. Arcidiacono called for the push on Lindsey, and Providence has the ball down 58-55.
Second Half (6:41) How about this guy? After a near steal from Kris Dunn, Arcidiacono fights all the way back for the ball, and dishes off to Ochefu for and one, converting on the free throw. 58-53. Lomomba with four fouls.
Second Half (7:02) Providence is finally hitting their shots, and it is helping them come back into this game. The rest of this one might be fun.
Second Half (7:02) HOLY MOLY! BIG EAST BASKETBALL! After a Kris Dunn block, Cartwright comes back and hits a three! Both teams are hot. Providence on a 15-3 run. Its now a 2 point game, 55-53 Villanova.
Second Half (7:20) WOW! Arcidiacono hits a three, but Lindsey comes back with another three. 55-50!
Second Half (7:56) HERE COME THE FRIARS! Cartwright comes to the rack for two, and are now on a 9-0 run.
Second Half (8:40) Providence loses another rebound to Reynolds. They are missing opportunities, now losing the battle 29-21.
Second Half (8:59) Dunn hits the second, and Providence finds themselves on a 7-0 run. 52-45 Cats.
Second Half (8:59) The refs brought a whistle with energy tonight. Yet another foul call, and Dunn is at the line for two. That's four on Brunson. If fouls continue to be called, Providence will need to hit the free throws if they want to come back. Timeout on the floor after Dunn hits the first. 52-44.
Second Half (9:25) Providence already in the double bonus after a foul from Bridges. Lomomba makes both, and its 52-43 Nova.
Second Half (9:32) Hart having the same kind of game as Bentil. He is called for the offensive foul, and now has four fouls.
Second Half (9:48) There it is. Bentil has fouled out. Not sure I agree with the decision putting Bentil backed in, but his night is finished with just three points.
Second Half (9:52) THREEEEE!!! Cartwright connects from deep, and its 52-41.
Second Half (10:48) Careless basketball from Bentil, leading to another turnover. Coming back the next possession, Dunn avoids another turnover, as it appears he touched it last before the ball went out of bounds.
Second Half (11:32) Jenkins with another shot. Now has 18. After the play, Lomomba and Hart are called for a double-technical going for a rebound. Hart with three fouls on the bench.
Second Half (11:40) Shocker here by Cooley. Bentil checks back in with four fouls. Let's see how Villanova adjusts.
Second Half (11:45) Dunn showcasing a bright spot of his game, driving to the basket and drawing a foul. Makes both. 50-38.
Second Half (12:02) WOW! WHAT A DUNK! Jenkins goes baseline for an incredible reverse dunk. 50-36 Nova. On a 10-3 run.
Second Half (12:27) This one may begin to get out of hand. Reynolds makes another layup, and it is 48-36 Wildcats.
Second Half (13:11) Villanova basketball. After Booth drives to the basket, he kicks back to Bridges for three. 46-36 Wildcats.
Second Half (14:03) Brunson picks up his third. Both teams in deep foul trouble. Hart forced to sit too. Bullock then comes up with a put back layup to bring the score to 43-36.
Second Half (14:50) TOMMY POINTS!!! Arcidiacono goes diving into the third row of the stands going for a loose ball. What a tough and gritty player. Lindsey comes back with a missed layup.
Second Half (15:18) Hart finally gets a basket to go. This one is for three. 43-34 Villanova.
Second Half (15:39) Dunn connects with one of two once again. 40-34.
Second Half (15:48) Terrific block by Bullock, leading to Dunn getting to the line for two.
Second Half (15:51) Not good news for the Friars. After getting another bucket, Bentil was called for his fourth foul. He will take a seat for the majority of this half. Providence will have to respond without him. However, Providence seems as if they finally have rhythm offensively. 40-33 Wildcats.
Second Half (16:30) WHAT A MOVE! Arcidiacono drives to the lane, and gets the bucket after a Bullock goaltending. 40-31 Nova.
Second Half (17:28) Theres that Providence basketball! Dunn dishes to Edwards, who connects with the shot. Shortly after, Bentil forces another turnover. Each team with three fouls early.
Second Half (18:21) Dunn finally gets a field goal. He drives to the lane, jump stops, and gets a lay up to go. Bentil draws a charge on the other end. 38-29 Villanova.
Second Half (19:01) THREEEEES!!! Jenkins got a three to go during the first possession, then came back, and hit another three. Jenkins with 14. Cooley quickly calls timeout. 38-27 Villanova.
Second Half (20:00) And we're off! Nova ball.
Arcidiacono leads Villanova with nine, followed by Jenkins with eight, Bridges with five, Reynolds with four, with Brunson and Booth both with three.
Bullock leads the Friars with eight, while Lomomba has five, Edwards has five, Fazekas has three, Bentil has three, Lindsey with two, and Dunn with one.
For Providence, it has been much worse. Bentil and Dunn are a combined 1-8 and 2-6 from the line. Bentil also has two turnovers. Both these players have gotten locked down, and will need to escape that in the second half.
The superstars have not showed up for this one. For Villanova, Hart is still without a field goal and has two personal fouls. Ochefu and Reynolds are both in foul trouble as well, as Ochefu has three and Reynolds has two. Arcidiacono was the only star to show up, as he has nine points, three rebounds, and three assists.
Providence lucky to still be in this game at half. They are still shooting just 36%, and are 4-8 from the line. They are also getting killed on the glass 20-14.
HALF Kris Dunn gets away with what should have been a travel, and dishes to Bentil for his first field goal of the night. 32-27 Nova at half.
1st Half (0:11) AND ONE!!! Arcidiacono shows off his handles, and dishes off to Bridges for the and-one. He connects the free throw. 32-25 Nova.
1st Half (0:41) Providence (FINALLY!!!) connects, after Dunn missed a free throw. Bullock made a tough jumper, then followed up with a three the play after. He may be the guy Providence will count on, as Dunn and Bentil can't hit a field goal or free throw. Timeout on the floor. 29-25 Nova.
1st Half (2:00) Ochefu called for third foul, and forced to sit down. Reynolds and Hart also with two fouls.
1st Half (2:45) Wow. Ben Bentil is having a tough go of things. After Jenkins made a layup, Bentil called for offensive foul, and can't believe it. 29-20 Nova, on a 6-0 run.
1st Half (3:00) Ochefu is called for his second foul, and Bentil is headed to the line for one and one, and misses the first. Great job by Nova to shut this guy down.
1st Half (3:22) Bentil is getting locked up. Misses another shot. On the other end, a tough foul called on Villanova. Bentil gets up slow.
1st Half (3:40) Jalen Brunson makes a layup, and Providence cannot make a shot. Now shooting 6-19. Timeout on the floor. 27-20 Wildcats.
1st Half (4:46) Edwards and Arcidiacono both with driving layups. 25-20 Villanova.
1st Half (5:16) THREEEE!!! Booth gets his first shot to go, and it is from deep. 23-18 Wildcats.
1st Half (5:50) What a move! Terrific move from Cartwright, dishing it to Lomomba and gets fouled. Makes both. 20-18 Villanova.
1st Half (6:09) Villanova turnover. Providence having a tough time on the boards, down 15-8 on the glass. Dunn and Bentil 0-6 combined.
Providence continues to struggle shooting. They are 5-16, including 4-12 from deep, and just 2-4 from the line. They will need to get their shot going if they want to stay in this, or else Villanova will certainly pull away. Jenkins now has six.
1st Half (8:00) Fazekas from downtown! Gets a three to go, but Reynolds comes back with a layup. Timeout on the floor. 20-16 Wildcats.
1st Half (8:22) Jenkins with a nice move to get a shot to go. 18-13 Nova.
1st Half (9:20) Kris Dunn with an excellent pass (heard that one before?) to Bentil drawing a foul, making 1 of two. 16-13 Villanova.
1st Half (9:56) Brunson connects with 1 of 2. Providence shooting just 30.8%, Villanova at 50%. Bullock back in.
1st Half (9:56) Brunson drives to the lane and draws a foul from Kris Dunn, who is not happy. Brunson at the line for two.
1st Half (11:25) Jenkins with a miss but Myles Bridges checks in and gets a putback layup. 15-12 Villanova.
1st Half (12:00) Bentil called for a charge, and shows frustration. He has yet to score. Timeout on the floor.
1st Half (12:25) Ochefu checks in for the first time, and doesn't seem near 100%.
1st Half (13:10) Wow, is Kris Dunn something or what? Terrific find to Drew Edwards who buries a three. Lindsey comes back with a block. 13-12 Villanova.
1st Half (14:08) Rodney Bullock in foul trouble. Called for his second foul already, and forced to sit the bench.
1st Half (14:48) Jenkins with an excellent pump fake, then hits an easy layup. 13-9 Wildcats.
1st Half (15:14) Rodney Bullock called for offensive foul. Takes us to a timeout. Arcidiacono leads all scorers with 7. 11-9 Wildcats.
1st Half (15:48) THREEEE! Bullock hits from deep to get Providence within 2. 11-9 Villanova.
1st Half (16:30) What a pass! Arcidiacono is something else. No look pass to Reynolds for an easy dunk. Terrific dish.
1st Half (17:10) The bank is open! Arcidiacono hits a bank shot three pointer and he already has seven. Lindsey comes back with a putback layup. 9-6 Villanova.
1st Half (17:34) Josh Hart called for travel. Excellent defense from Lindsey.
1st Half (18:00) Lomomba connects from three. 6-4 Nova.
1st Half (18:25) Arcidiacono cuts to the rack once again and gets the layup again. 6-1 Nova.
1st Half (19:00) Arcidiacono heads to the rack and gets the layup to go. 4-1 Villanova.
1st Half (19:32) Kris Jenkins connects with his first shot. 2-1 Nova.
1st Half (19:45) Dunn fouled on a mid-range shot and makes 1 of 2. Nova ball.
1st Half (20:00) Here we go! Providence wins tip in front of electric crowd.
Villanova starters without Ochefu: Arcidiacono, Brunson, Hart, Jenkins, and Reynolds filling in.
Providence starters: Bentil, Dunn, Bullock, Lindsey, and Lomomba.
Daniel Ochefu (game-time decision) will NOT start against Providence. However, coach Jay Wright stated he should be the first off the bench.
Current line for the matchup: Villanova -8.5. O/U: 139.
Just under 30 minutes to go until tipoff at Madison Square Garden.
Villanova is 7-1 all time against Providence in the Big East Tournament, and knocked the Friars out of the tournament last season. Providence will look for revenge, and will need all the magic they can get against this tough Villanova team. Providence showed they are capable of beating this Villanova team as they did on January 4 in overtime, and even lasted the overtime without Kris Dunn who fouled out. Villanova will look to continue their winning ways, but know this game will not be easy by any means.
Villanova and Providence are undoubtedly locks for the NCAA Tournament no matter how the rest of the Big East Tournament goes. The Wildcats will likely be a top seed win or loss, while the Friars are fighting for a better seed. As of now, they are looking at a 6-8 seed, but a Big East title will assure the range changes to around 4-6.
For Providence to win this game, a couple things need to go their way. First, they cannot get off to a bad start like they did their last game against the Wildcats. In that game, they quickly found themselves behind 12-3, and were outscored 31-19 in the first half. They did not have too bad of a second half, but the first half deficit was too much to make up for. Also, they need to dominate the glass. In the last game, they were dominated on the glass 46-29. Yes, their top rebounder Bentil was not 100%, but that is simply unacceptable.
For Villanova to win this game, they need to do what they do best. They cannot allow Providence to dominate the tempo of the game, and cannot allow them to get easy transition buckets. Villanova needs to quiet Kris Dunn as they did last game, and make the superstar dish it off to his teammates.
Providence came into this tournament as the No. 4 seed. The Friars had a great first half of the season, and after defeating Villanova in their first game, they climbed all the way up to No. 8 on the AP Poll. However, they since collapsed, and had a tough second go-around against Big East teams. They finished the season unranked.
Other contributes for Providence include Jalen Lindsey, Rodney Bullock, Junior Lomomba, and Kyron Cartwright. Bullock is the only player besides Dunn and Bentil averaging more than 10 points per game this season, at 11.4.
The other superstar is Ben Bentil. Bentil is believed by many to be the most improved player in the nation this season. Bentil had an incredible game last night with 38 points and eight rebounds. Bentil came off the bench due to injury in their last game against Villanova, but still managed to get 20 points. Out of nowhere, Bentil has turned himself into a projected first round draft pick.
Providence, on the other hand, has a much different approach. The Friars have two superstars, and both will look to take the game over as soon as they can. The first superstar is Big East Player of the Year, Kris Dunn. Dunn is projected to be a top five selection in the NBA Draft this summer. Dunn is averaging 16.3 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game, and 6.4 assists per game. In their last game against Villanova, Dunn was kept quiet with just 11 points, four rebounds, and three assists with six turnovers. He will look to bounce back tonight.
Villanova is currently ranked No. 3 in the AP Poll and are considered favorites by many to win this tournament. They entered as the first seed. The Wildcats have been known to take over games through three specific things this season: balanced scoring, dominating the transition game, and connecting with a lot of three point field goals.
Other contributes for Villanova include big man Daniel Ochefu, Kris Jenkins, and Jalen Brunson. Villanova usually looks to have a balanced scoring attack, as Ochefu, Jenkins, Hart, Arcidiacono, and Brunson are all averaging double-digits in scoring this season.
Another big piece for Villanova is Hart's back court partner Ryan Arcidiacono. The senior averages 12 points per game as well as 4.5 assists per game.
Villanova, who entered the tournament as the top seed, are led by junior guard Josh Hart. Hart averages 15.6 points per game, leading the team. Hart also gets a good amount of rebounds, averaging 7.1 per game. He finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds during their last matchup with Providence on February 6, 2016 at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence
This will be a semi-final game between the Friars and Wildcats. The teams split the season series 1-1, each winning their game on the road. Providence defeated Butler last night, while Villanova defeated Georgetown.
Welcome to VAVEL NCAA’s LIVE coverage of the 2016 Big East Conference Tournament between the Providence Friars and Villanova Wildcats I’m Oliver Gold, and I’ll be providing minute-to-minute updates, commentary, and results of the game. The game starts at 6:30 pm ET, and there will be coverage pregame, mid-game, and post game.