#1 Villanova 63 #4 Providence 61 – Two free throws by guard Ryan Arcidiacono with 3.1 seconds left allowed the Villanova Wildcats to survive a rally by the Providence Friars and move on to the Big East Tournament Championship game in Madison Square Garden. It will be the first time Villanova appeared in the final since 1997, and the first for Coach Jay Wright.
“I’m thrilled,” said Wright. “I love this tournament. I like this tournament better than any other tournament. I just love being in New York, love being in the Garden. I know all of our alumni do. I’m thrilled. I’m really happy for these guys.”
It was a thriller. The Friars tied the game off a turnover when Kris Dunn converted a layup with 12.1 seconds on the clock. The Wildcats inbounded the ball to Arcidiacono who drove the length of the floor and was fouled by Ben Bentil. LaDontae Henton put up a long three-pointer at the buzzer that was off the mark.
Dunn had 22 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists to lead Providence. Josh Hart led Villanova in scoring for the second straight game posting 18 points. Daniel Ochefu scored 15 points and took down 13 rebounds for the Wildcats.
With the win #3/4 Villanova set a program record for most wins in a season with 31.