Providence coach Ed Cooley ripped his trousers during the Big East championship

Kristopher Nichols
March 12, 2018

Mikal Bridges of Villanova hits one of his clutch 3-pointers in overtime against Providence during the the Big East Tournament Championship Game at Madison Square Garden on March 10, 2018.

Cooley ripped his trousers in the back in the second half of the game, and was forced to wear a Gatorade sweat towel around his waist for the rest of the contest.

After cruising to easy wins over Marquette and Butler, Villanova knew Providence was going to give them quite the battle in the Big East tournament championship, especially since they were playing with a ton of confidence after a thrilling upset over Xavier the night before.

Sophomore Alpha Diallo (New York, N.Y.) finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

PC is expected to make the NCAA Tournament for the fifth consecutive year on Sunday, which will be a program record. Brunson, Bridges, two high-, high-level players. "They've got passion, and we believe".

Cartwright had eight straight points, including two 3-pointers, in a 92 second run midway through the second half to get the Friars back into the game. That opened the biggest lead of the game at 39-27.

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.

The biggest shot was made by Bridges, who got the ball on the perimeter after a scramble for a loose ball and sent a three-pointer softly through the net for a 68-64 lead. He turned to redshirt sophomore Drew Edwards with just under 14 minutes to play in the second half tonight because no one could contain Big East Player of the Year Jalen Brunson. Mikal Bridges, who was named tournament MVP, added 25 points on 9-for-14 shooting, including four three-pointers of his own.

Two Diallo free throws got the Friars back within two, 58-56, with three minutes left. Kyron Cartwright had 19 and Rodney Bullock 10.

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The Big East will have their tournament finals on Saturday night, with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.

Villanova was rolling, and if a game can be over in the opening 5 minutes, this was the one.

That's when Cartwright and the Friars made their move.

The Friars would not score the rest of the way as Villanova would go on to win 76-66.

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.

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

Those who live and die with the program found the inconsistency of this group maddening at times, but they pulled it all together in NY and went on a run that was every bit as thrilling as the 2014 Big East title year. 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.

Providence with seven turnovers so far in the game. 1 Villanova defeated Providence 89-69 behind 17 points from junior forward Eric Paschall. 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. He can rebound with the best of them and step out to hit jumpers from deep.

We have reached halftime with Villanova ahead 31-27.

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