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Big East Notebook: McDermott wants to play Villanova for Championship

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

As the regular season Big East champions, No. 3 Villanova stands in its best spot in nearly two decades to win a conference tournament title.

But those chances increase exponentially if the Wildcats don't have to play Creighton for the title at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. It's no secret that the Wildcats arguably played their two worse games of the season against the Bluejays, partially because of their inability to guard the perimeter.

And as far as Creighton head coach Greg McDermott is concerned, he'd have no problem playing Villanova one more time.

"We hope we get to see Villanova again," McDermott said early Monday morning via telephone from Omaha prior to a scheduled Bluejays practice session.

"I hope the game would [have the same outcome] but I'm sure coach Wright would have a different answer. We played two really good games both times we played them and we were better defensively away than at home. We would love to play them again because it means we'd be playing for a championship."

McDermott has been coaching at Creighton since 2010 after leaving Iowa State with a 59-68 record from 2006-2010. The No. 14 Bluejays hold an overall record of 24-6 under McDermott this season and are seeded second in the Big East Tournament which begins on Wednesday night.

The fourth-year coach also expressed how thrilled he was with Creighton's first season in the Big East and expects a large amount of fans to make the 1,200-plus mile trip to the Big Apple.

"We sold out our tickets a while ago," McDermott said. "We will have between three and four thousand fans at the Big East tournament"

And when it comes to a potential matchup with Villanova in the championship round of the tournament, senior forward Doug McDermott may have a slight problem scoring depending on who guards him on the defensive end of the ball.

McDermott, the country's best scorer at 26.5 points per game and favorite to win this season's Naismith award, cited two Villanova players as some of the toughest defenders he's seen all season.

"The Georgetown team in general was physical," McDermott said on Monday. "Mikael Hopkins and Nate Lubick, those defenders did a great job on me, but there's definitely a lot of other guys, Jamil Wilson, JayVaughn Pinkston, I played well against him, but he was the most physical guy I've played against. James Bell as well."