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Creighton falls to Villanova in Big East championship game

21 March 2017

This year, if we won again, that's two different trophies.

The victor of Marquette-Seton Hall game will play top-seeded Villanova, which dismantled St. John's in the opening game of the day. And with Hart leading the way, they made every big shot they needed.

Villanova: Mikal Bridges started for the Wildcats but played just one minute because of a stomach virus. When UNC lost to Duke on Friday, the door was wide open for Villanova to sit atop the field of 68 when it's revealed on Sunday night.

Fast forward to this year. JOSH HART. @NovaMBB's game victor over Seton Hall called by Gus Johnson. His son, Luke, is an assistant coach for the Musketeers, who were looking for the second trip to the tournament title game in three years.

"Just being a victor", Hart said. Brunson made a great turn-around jumper on the baseline and two key pull-up jumpers as the Cats made their final surge.

The Bluejays continued to try and chip away at Villanova's lead, bringing the Wildcat lead to 54-42 at one point. In watching their most recent games I think Desi Rodriguez has really taken his game to the next level. "You can't do that". Coach Jay Wright wasn't sure the three players - the quiet Reynolds and the slightly goofy duo of Jenkins and Hart - would mature into the role of leaders, but that has never been a problem. I should have passed it. "'Come on, Josh.' Two things that are uncharacteristic for me". "They display great toughness and grit and we know it's going to be a battle". "I think last time, we ran out and stormed the court and everyone was jumping around, but I think part of it was just exhaustion".

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Marquette's silver lining doesn't end there, as Fischer, who left the game with about 13 minutes remaining, is not seriously injured.

There was nearly a third as Seton Hall's Angel Delgado, the nation's leading rebounder, missed a shot from in close with 1 second left.

On Saturday night, the Wildcats cruised to a 74-60 win over Creighton for the Big East title. With the win, Creighton advances to Friday's 8 p.m.

That's what Villanova's legacy is, and thanks to Kris Jenkins' clutch gene, no one is ever going to ask otherwise. "Half of that was luck". They are back in the championship game after missing last year's tournament because of NCAA sanctions. Despite the limited playing time, Jenkins - the hero of the 2016 title game - scored eight points in the first half and finished with 14 total for the Wildcats. "That's it. I've got to live with it". "I don't care, I want to go and have fun". He's by far the best player in the country. Creighton never got within single digits in the entire second half, it's one minor run immediately stopped by a Jalen Brunson 3-pointer.

Villanova, which played a near ideal game in the 108-67 quarterfinal win over St. John's, struggled offensively in the first half, shooting 26.9 percent (7 of 26), including 3 of 13 from 3-point range.

"He's first-team all-conference for a reason", Fischer said.

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"Probably the greatest accomplishment of the three seniors is to be as young as they are and handle the notoriety and the success [of last year] and still be normal senior students", Wright said.

"Very similar", Hart said.

"I'm happy to play anybody". "We were the champions past year". After losing star senior point guard Maurice Watson to a torn ACL on January 16, the Bluejays lost seven of their final 12 regular season games, tumbling out of the top-25 rankings while barely clinging to NCAA tournament hopes. You can tell there is a lot of respect between these two teams. "Of course. But let's not panic and lose our minds".

The same week the ACC Tournament came to New York City, and the Big East's old guard teams came with it, there was Villanova owning the new Big East Tournament.

"He definitely showed class", Delgado said.

"So we just thought about the next play and hopefully get better and keep fighting". If you didn't go, you should do so next year, when the Big Ten joins the Big East and ACC here. "As long as we stick together".

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"No, I feel playing at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, I mean, it doesn't really get much bigger than that, playing in that type of arena, that type of environment". For the second time in his storied career, the senior guard from Silver Spring, Md., earned the Dave Gavitt Award as this event's Most Outstanding Player.

Creighton falls to Villanova in Big East championship game