By: Alyssa Adams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Villanova Wildcats are heading to their fourth straight Big East Championship after thumping Butler Friday night 87 to 68.

The Wildcats went on a 16-0 run, playing impeccable defense, before Butler head coach, LaVall Jordan, called a timeout just 4:23 minutes into the game.

Forty seconds later, Jalen Brunson set up Omari Spellman for a beautiful three-point shot, giving Villanova a 19-0 lead a little over five minutes into the game.

They hit 10 of their first 12 shots and with Phil Booths’ 3 at the buzzer, they never looked back.

With 11:35 left in the second half, the Wildcats led by 25 points and didn’t give the Bulldogs the opportunity to come back. Proving why they are the dominant team in the Big East.

Big East player of the year, Jalen Brunson scored 17-points, Mika Bridges had 18-points, and freshman Omari Spellman had 12-points and 12 rebounds.

Villanova will defend their title tomorrow night against the Providence Friar who upset Xavier earlier tonight after rallying a 17-point deficit.

The Friars are coming off two consecutive overtime wins and the pressure is on for the heavy underdog.

BIG PICTURE

Butler: The Bulldogs are still in good shape for an NCAA Tournament bid and should be in the mix for No. 8 or No. 9 seed. Butler has lost three of four games.

Villanova: The Wildcats have won six of seven games and likely clinched a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats have won 10 of 11 Big East Tournament games.

UP NEXT

Butler: Butler waits to find out its NCAA Tournament fate

Villanova: The Wildcats beat the Friars 89-69 on Jan. 23 and lost at Providence 76-71 on Feb. 14.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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