Xavier Defeats Providence
CINCINNATI (AP) — Trevon Bluiett scored 23 points in his final game at the Cintas Center, and No. 3 Xavier never trailed while beating Providence 84-74 on Wednesday night, clinching at least a share of its first Big East championship.
The Musketeers (26-4, 14-3) can win it outright by beating DePaul on Saturday and end Villanova’s run of four straight regular season titles.
Bluiett will leave Xavier as its second all-time scorer. He made the game’s first basket on a driving layup, and finished off the Friars with a dunk and a pair of free throws in the final minute. Quentin Goodin added 18 points, one shy of his career high.
The league title was another major step in a record-setting season for Xavier. The Musketeers moved up to No. 3 for the first time this week. Their latest win matched the school record for victories in the regular season. And they got the best of one of only three teams to beat them this season.
No. 4 Villanova 69
Seton Hall 68, OT
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Mikal Bridges scored 23 points, Jalen Brunson made big plays down the stretch and No. 4 Villanova avoided consecutive losses for the first time since the 2012-13 season with a hard-fought overtime victory over Seton Hall.
Brunson, who was 1 of 8 from the field midway through the second half, finished with 14 points, including two free throws in the waning seconds of overtime to give Villanova (26-4, 13-4 Big East) a 69-66 lead.
Khadeen Carrington closed out the scoring with two free throws with a second to play to finish off a 23-point night for Seton Hall (20-10, 9-8).
No. 23 Kentucky 96
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kevin Knox had 22 points and Quade Green added 18, including eight during a 15-5 second-half run that helped No. 23 Kentucky pull away from Mississippi for a victory.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 17 points, Wenyen Gabriel 15 and PJ Washington 10 as the Wildcats (21-9, 10-7 Southeastern Conference) won their fourth consecutive game and home finale, the first without departing seniors under coach John Calipari.