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Villanova Takes Big East Title

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NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – Both the Villanova Wildcats and Creighton Blue Jays had their semi-final games come down to the final possession. Villanova held off Seton Hall 55-53, while Creighton took out Xavier 75-72. By securing wins on Friday, Creighton and Villanova set themselves up to square off for the Big East Tournament Championship. Not many people expected Creighton to be in the Championship game, but most people expected Villanova to win.

Creighton to start the game, looked like they were following the same game plan that Seton Hall had used. The Blue Jays were pounding the glass and attacking the rim, led by Justin Patton and his emphatic dunks. Patton helped the inside-out game for the Blue Jays, which created outside shot opportunities. The problem was that Creighton was not making shots that earlier in the tournament they were knocking down.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Creighton did a good job attacking the rim to start the game.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Creighton did a good job attacking the rim to start the game.

At the 4:53 mark in the first half, Jalen Brunson made a three pointer to put Villanova up 25-20. Brunson’s three pointer sparked a 11-2 run by the Wildcats to end the half. Villanova used that run to build a 36-22 lead over the Blue Jays going into halftime.

Josh Hart proved why he was the Big East Player of the Year, with a spectacular performance. Hart was the main catalyst as to why Villanova never looked back after Brunson’s shot. The senior guard made countless hustle plays, and relentlessly attacked the basket. Hart finished the game with 29 points, and went 7 for 8 from the charity stripe. Villanova rode Hart’s great performance all the way to a 74-60 win over Creighton, to take the Big East Championship.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Hart earned his 2nd Big East Tournament MVP.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Hart earned his 2nd Big East Tournament MVP.

Hart would go on to win the Most Valuable Player award, for the second time in his collegiate career. Back in 2015, Hart won his first Big East Tournament MVP as a sophomore.

Villanova looked like a well oiled machine on Saturday, and is poised to make a long run in the NCAA Tournament. The guard play from the Wildcats is their strength; they never look out of control and do a good job of setting the tone for this team. The experience and good decision making, is what makes them pass the eye test. The Wildcats have grown from a team that relies on shooting threes, to a team that can find multiple ways to win close games.

Barry Holmes is a Senior Writer for PureSportsNY.com. Follow him on Twitter @BHO732

(Featured Photo Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY)

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