Diallo led with 22 points and Cartwright scored 19 for Providence. The Wildcats were nursing a 65-64 lead when Brunson lost the ball with the shot clock winding down. Again mimicking Friday night's game, the Wildcats paired their ferocious defensive effort with accurate shooting to open up a lead in the first 4:00, 9-2. Providence had to play three overtime games in three days, including two straight against teams that will be No. 1 seeds next week.
ST. LOUIS - Collin Sexton and Alabama were making another push in the second half, cutting Kentucky's big lead down to nine with 5:15 remaining.
"Either team could have won that overtime game", said Wildcats head coach Jay Wright.
It continued on like that, back and forth, until Bridges hit a three-pointer with 3:37 left in overtime to give the Wildcats some space before the Friars ran out of gas. Bridges scored a game-high 19 points.
The Wildcats will return to Villanova on Sunday and will gather to watch the NCAA Tournament Selection Show together at 6 p.m. Three-point shots by Cartwright and Isaiah Jackson kept things close (49-41) at the under 12-minute timeout but by then Brunson had 25 points.
Bridges answered, corralling a loose ball and drilling three-pointer from the top of the key to increase Villanova's lead up to four. Senior Rodney Bullock (Hampton, Va.) added 10 points.
That's when Cartwright and the Friars made their move.
Turkish troops to enter Afrin at any moment says President Erdogan
Erdogan also said that a total of 3,171 terrorists have been "neutralised" in Afrin since the start of Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria.
Villanova laid it on down the stretch, and won the game 76-66.
Unlike the earlier two games, freshman forward Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree played early rotation minutes absent of any foul-trouble from a starter.
Surely already locked in as a No. 1 seed, Villanova doesn't have much to play for this weekend, but that really hasn't seemed to matter much.
On its next possession, Providence jumped in front as Diallo cut from the foul line and finished off a feed from Cartwright to put Providence on top 60-58.
Providence with seven turnovers so far in the game.
Those who live and die with the program found the inconsistency of this group maddening at times, but they pulled it all together in NY and went on a run that was every bit as thrilling as the 2014 Big East title year. "A lot of credit goes to them for coming out with the level of intensity that they did, and they obviously hit a lot of shots".
The Wildcats hit 10 of their first 12 shots that made for an anticlimactic final 35 minutes at the Garden.
The opening half was dominated by a series of runs with Villanova never losing its lead and going into the locker room with a 31-27 lead.
The sixth-seeded Bulldogs stunned third-seeded Seton Hall 75-74 for its first career Big East Tournament victory and a win over the Wildcats on December 30 made it seem like this should have been competitive. Villanova's Mikal Bridges was named the Tournament Most Outstanding Player.