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Villanova Basketball opens the Big East Tournament against Ed Cooley and the Providence Friars

Ed Cooley’s teams are tough to beat, but Wright owns this matchup in March.

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Happy Game Day Nova Nation! Your Villanova Wildcats will play in their first game of the Big East Tournament today against a Providence Friars team that stomped all over Butler last night. Both of Villanova’s games against the Friars have had nail biter moments, and the final scores certainly weren’t indicative of how these games played out. A big reason for that is Providence’s head coach Ed Cooley.

If Jay Wright is the best coach in the Big East, Cooley may be a close second. In seven years with the Friars, he’s had them in the NCAA Tournament the past five seasons. That’s tied with Xavier for the second longest streak in the conference after Villanova. He’s also proven he can succeed in the Garden, twice making the Big East Tournament Championship game and winning it all in 2014.

But for as good as Cooley is, Jay Wright seems to almost always have an answer for him. In Big East play, Wright is 14-4 against his Providence counterpart. But more importantly for today’s Noon showdown, Wright simply owns the Friars in March. Since coming to the mainline, Jay Wright is a perfect 6-0 against Providence, and half of those came against Ed Cooley.

That doesn’t mean it comes easy. Their last meeting in college basketball’s most important month was an overtime victory in the BET Championship Game that easily could have gone the other way. Nova will not only need to come ready to play from the tip, but they’ll also need more than just Phil Booth and Eric Paschall to step up in this one. And that brings us to our Game day poll question.


Outside of Booth and Paschall, who will lead Villanova in points against Providence?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Saddiq Bey
    (127 votes)
  • 0%
    Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree
    (3 votes)
  • 2%
    Joe Cremo
    (11 votes)
  • 49%
    Collin Gillespie
    (239 votes)
  • 2%
    Jahvon Quinerly
    (14 votes)
  • 16%
    Jermaine Samuels
    (78 votes)
  • 0%
    Brandon Slater
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    Cole Swider
    (7 votes)
483 votes total Vote Now

In other “news”, Jay Wright wins his 6th Big East COY, Temple trying to get Dunphy one last dance, and Villanova trying to do what no Big East Team has ever done: Three-peat in the Garden. Enjoy!

Villanova Basketball

The champs are here: Villanova wants to reign again in NYC | FOX Sports
Villanova is trying to win its 3rd straight Big East Tournament championship

Jay Wright has put on a coaching master class for Villanova this season | The Inquirer
After losing its best four players from the national-championship team to the NBA draft, Villanova had to reload quickly, and succeeded better than expected.

Joe Cremo, Villanova on NCAA path | Times Union
Former UAlbany star trying to make the most of senior season.

Villanova vs Providence

Villanova vs. Providence - 3/14/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction | Sports Chat Place
The Providence Friars and 25th ranked Villanova Wildcats will square off at Madison Square Garden in the Quarterfinals of the Big East Men’s Championship.

Butler vs. Providence: Quick quotes | The Butler Collegian
The Butler men’s basketball team fell to Providence for the third time in 16 days on March 13, this time in the first round of the Big East Tournament. Here’s a look at nine key quotes from after the game.

Big East Awards

James Akinjo named Big East freshman of the year | Washington Times
Akinjo was averaging 13.3 points and 5.4 assists per game and is the first Georgetown player to win the award since Greg Monroe in 2008-09.

Marquette's Markus Howard is Big East player of year | Journal Sentinel
The junior led the league in scoring at 25 points per game and upped his single-game conference record to 53 points.

Seton Hall basketball: Mike Nzei wins Big East Scholar-Athlete award | APP
The postgrad forward, who has an economics degree, is the first Pirate to win the honor since 1996.

Villanova's Wright named Big East Coach of Year |
Stu Jackson, the senior associate commissioner for men’s basketball in the Big East Conference, feigned a yawn when he announced Villanova’s Jay Wright as the conference Coach of the Year

Big East Tournament

2019 Big East Tournament: Bracket, schedule, scores, seeds |
The 2019 Big East Tournament started Wednesday, March 13. Find bracket, schedule, scores and seeding information. Villanova is the top seed.

Big East tournament preview: It's not all about Villanova this time | New York Post
The Big East belongs to Villanova again. But this time, no one believes it.

Commentator Bill Raftery Explains The Big East Tournament’s Mystique | UPROXX
The legendary college hoops broadcaster sat down with Uproxx to talk all things Big East Tournament prior to its tip off on Wednesday.

Big East basketball tournament preview: Fan's guide | APP
Best dunker, worst ref, must-see games and more -- plus our predictions

NBA Wildcats

Team USA to play against Spain in a prep game before the FIBA World Cup | Eurohoops
Team USA will face the Spanish national team during their preparation for the upcoming FIBA World Cup

2019 NBA draft: Zion Williamson, Ja Morant top big board |
With conference tournaments here and the NCAA tournament next week, The Crossover’s Front Office reveals its updated big board and analysis for the top 80 prospects. Eric Paschall comes in at #41.

Popovich ready to build team chemistry at USAB summer exhibition games | KABB
San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich and Team USA will be in action this summer with a pair of exhibition games.

Class of 2019

NJ hoops: Is Ranney greatest Jersey Shore team? TOC has answers | APP
The Panthers are looking to become the first Shore Conference team ever to win the all-groups title. But are they the best ever?

Pennridge Rams stun district champ Abington Galloping Ghosts in fourth try this season | Bucks County Courier Times
The Rams, behind 26 points from senior Sean Yoder, advanced to the state quarterfinals for the first time in school history.

Big 5

Season’s tough start long past for Pookie Powell and La Salle | The Inquirer
For the Explorers, a new season begins Thursday in Brooklyn at the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

March Madness: Will the Temple Owls go dancing? |
Selection Sunday is just days away. The Temple Owls are hoping by the end of the weekend, they will have their ticket punched to the NCAA Tournament.

College Basketball

Jay Bilas' 1-68 college basketball rankings: Champ Week edition | ESPN
There are going to be some less-than-stellar teams in this NCAA tournament. These rankings help you ID who's good.

The key storylines during Championship Week | NBC Sports
Everything you need to know about Championship Week.

NCAA Bracket 2019: Tips, Info and More for Top March Madness Games | Bleacher Report
The NCAA bracket has become a powder keg. Millions of men's college basketball fans enthusiastically fill out their brackets, only to watch them implode based on the wrong selection ...

Your best March Madness memory: Sporting News remembers the thrill of victory | Sporting News
What's your favorite March Madness memory?

Bubbles and Brackets

Bubble Watch: It all comes down to this | The Athletic
In a way, that headline is exactly wrong. The season is more than this week, these final games and...

March Madness Bubble Watch: NCAA tournament team chances |
Who's going to earn a bid to the 2019 NCAA tournament? We're tracking where each March Madness bubble team stands.

College Basketball Bracketology 2019: Saint Mary’s just created some bubble trouble |
The Gaels’ surprisingly dominant win over Gonzaga in Monday’s WCC tournament final didn’t just cost some unlucky bubble team a place in the NCAA tournament. It affected the top of the bracket as well.

March Madness 2019: Seton Hall, Ohio State and Indiana looking for final resume fillers |
The Pirates, Buckeyes and Hoosiers will get their chances to impress the selection committee

Bracketology: NCAA tournament projection as of March 13, 2019 | Inside the Hall
Five more automatic bids were handed out on Tuesday night, none more shocking than the one Saint Mary's earned by beating Gonzaga by double digits to steal a bid from the at-large field.

March Madness: NCAA tournament bracket after Gonzaga's loss |
After a shocking loss to St. Mary's in the WCC final, Gonzaga's top-seed status will be less of a sure thing on Selection Sunday.