Villanova used a strong second-half effort to blow past Syracuse 82-63 in the first round of the Big East tournament. The Wildcats made eight of their first nine 3-pointers after the break and went on an 11-1 run midway through the second half to put the game out of the Orange’s reach. The loss almost certainly bursts Syracuse’s bubble, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Elsewhere in the Big East Tournament:
- Joe Alexander scored 22 points and led West Virginia to a 58-53 opening round victory over Providence. The Mountaineers will face fourth-seeded Connecticut.
- Pittsburgh continued its strong play in the Big East tournament in recent years with a 70-64 win over Cincinnati. The Panthers have reached six of the last seven tournament finals.