Providence entered the Big East Tournament as the league's hottest team, having won six straight in a late season NCAA Tournament push, but the Friars struggled in all facets offensively in its 70-58 loss to Creighton on Thursday night.
"Oh, man", Hart said after Villanova had hung on for a 57-55 win in the Big East semifinals (see Instant Replay).
For the best mobile experience, use the mobile web version. The Seton Hall Pirates came inches away from dethroning the reigning national champion Villanova Wildcats in the Big East.
New York, New York-In a knock-down, drag-out defensive tussle that resembled a 15-round heavyweight fight, the Villanova Wildcats had what it took to withstand the Seton Hall Pirates in the first of two Big East Semifinals at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.
Hart's three-point play on a rebound was the fifth lead change of the final 4 minutes and there were two ties.
Jalen Brunson (31 Min, 13 Points, 6-12 FGs, 0-2 3PFG, 1-2 FTs, 1 Rebound, 2 Assists, 3 Turnovers, 1 Steal, 88 ORtg) After his incredible "no miss" shooting performance against the Hall in the last meeting, Brunson was his own tough act to follow.
Seton Hall junior Angel Delgado is consoled by teammates after missing a layup at the buzzer. "We've had some battles over the last four years", Hart said.
The Wildcats, ranked No. 2 nationally and the top seed in the tournament, are 30-3 this season.
The Pirates led for 34 minutes in the ball game, but unfortunately for Pirates fans, it wasn't enough to get their team into tomorrow's championship matchup with Creighton.
The first half was very almost a flashback to the conference final a year ago when Villanova lost for the only time in the 2015-16 postseason, also to Seton Hall. They'll meet sixth-seeded Creighton on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in NY.
Bashir Ahmed and Marcus LoVett both scored 12 points for the eighth-seeded Red Storm (14-19), who beat Georgetown 74-73 in the opening round to snap a six-year losing streak in the Big East Tournament. Villanova notched win #30 on the season - becoming the only team in the country to win 30+ games in each of the last three seasons.
"You have to trust the pass even when the shots aren't falling", head coach Steve Wojciechowski said. With so many foes coming for his team's crown next week, Wright knows his Cats are ready to take on all comers. "He is just a complete basketball player that teams value".
"I said, 'I'm right there with you, let's go.' And we came and we got some stops".
More than likely in Villanova's case, though, three games before the real fun begins.
Villanova fell behind by double-digits against Seton Hall and didn't take it's first lead until there was 9:18 left. "They're tough, physical and very well-coached and I told Angel, 'You're a heck of a player and just keep going, you've got a bright future'".
After scoring 108 points on Thursday, Villanova was held to 20 points in the first half.