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Villanova 54 Creighton 48: A tempo free look

In the championship game Villanova got the pace they wanted. Thanks to another series of late game heroics, the Wildcats also captured the championship.


Villanova 54 Creighton 48


Possessions: 62- After seeing what Creighton did on the offensive end against Providence, Jay Wright of Villanova wanted no part of an uptempo meeting with Greg McDermott’s club. Wright got the slower more deliberate pace he desired. Wright also got the desired result.


Offensive efficiency: Villanova 87, Creighton 77


What Creighton did well. Shoot well inside. The overall shooting percentage for Creighton was 33%. They were 16 of 29 for 55% inside the arc.


What Villanova did well. Find a way to win. This has been a consistent point throughout the conference tournament. Jay Wright’s Wildcats just figure it out and get the job done. A late Creighton run pushed the lead to four with 5:28 to go. Villanova responded with a run of their own, regaining the lead and never losing it.


Leading scorers: Ryan Kalkbrenner, Creighton, 19 points.

Collin Gillespie, Villanova, 17 points.


Kalkbrenner grabbed eight rebounds (seven offensive) and blocked three shots. Gillespie scored all of his points after intermission.

Creigton shot 33% from the floor. The Blue Jays were an icy 10% (3 of 29) from downtown. Creighton did not hit a three until early in the second half. That was the first time in 316 games Creighton did not sink a first half three pointer. Villanova was 33% from the floor and 25% (8 of 32) from three. Game had two ties and six lead changes.


Creighton trailed 19-18 at the half. Creighton’s four lowest scoring halves in Big East Tournament play have all come in the first half of Big East Championship games.


Villanova captured its fifth Big East Tournament title since 2015.


The teams combined for the lowest first-half point total in a half since the tournament came to MSG in 1983.


Jay Wright captured his fifth Big East Title. He tied Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim for the most titles.

Collin Gillespie becomes the first men’s player in Big East history to earn Player of the Year, Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the Dave Gavitt Trophy as the Tournament Most Outstanding Player.