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Providence wins 2014 Big East basketball tournament: Friars take down Bluejays, 65-58

Providence was a bubble team heading into the Big East Tournament. It ended up controlling its own destiny, beating Creighton in the final and claiming an automatic bid.

Jim McIsaac

The Providence Friars got to cut down the nets in Madison Square Garden after beating the Creighton Bluejays, 65-58, to win the Big East Tournament and punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

Creighton entered the game as big favorites to take home the Big East crown, but Providence was out to prove that it belongs in the Big Dance. Doug McDermott gave his best effort, scoring nine points in the first half, but it was a sobering reminder that he could only carry the Bluejays so far on his own. The rest of the team, minus McDermott, shot just 4-of-14 from the floor and couldn't buy a three pointer -- McDermott was the only one to make a shot from beyond the arc in the first half. The Friars controlled the tempo and dared McDermott to beat them by himself, and it paid dividends early on as they took a 26-17 lead into halftime.

Creighton improved in the second half, enjoying a 17-5 run while holding Providence to a nearly four-minute scoring drought. McDermott rose to the occasion once again, draining two three-pointers in a minute to get the Bluejays in range. Unfortunately, the Friars' early lead was too much to overcome, and McDermott's heroics weren't enough for Creighton to prevail. He finished with 27 points, while Bryce Cotton led Providence with 23 points.

Despite the loss, Creighton is still guaranteed to dance next week. However, its seeding might see a hit if the committee decides the team is a one-man show without much else going for it. As for Providence, it entered the tournament as a bubble team and left with the Big East auto-bid, so everything after this game would be gravy.