The 2019 Big East tournament opened play Wednesday, with four teams battling for spots in the quarterfinals.
Below is a look at the action from Day 1 as well as an overview of the tournament.
2019 Big East Tournament Schedule/Results—First Round (March 13)
No. 8 Providence 80, No. 9 Butler 57
No. 7 St. John's 82, No. 10 DePaul 74
2019 Big East Tournament Schedule—Quarterfinals (March 14)
No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 8 Providence, 12 p.m. ET
No. 4 Xavier vs. No. 5 Creighton, 2:30 p.m. ET
No. 2 Marquette vs. No. 7 St. John's, 7 p.m. ET
No. 3 Seton Hall vs. No. 6 Georgetown, 9:30 p.m. ET
*Full bracket available on the Big East's official website
Providence 80, Butler 57
The Providence Friars had a tough time getting anything going against the Butler Bulldogs on Wednesday, but they managed to overcome a slow start in time to advance to the quarterfinals.
Butler opened the game by scoring 10 of the first 12 points, grabbing an early eight-point lead. That was made possible by a slow start by Providence, which managed just seven points in the first 10 minutes.
But once the Friars got into a rhythm, there was no slowing them down.
Providence put up 31 points in the final nine minutes and 30 seconds of the first half to take an 11-point lead into the break. And it was junior guard Maliek White who paced the Friars early on with 13 first-half points.
While Providence struggled out of the gates to start the game, it came out of the locker room for the second half ready to play. The Friars blew the game wide-open by widening the margin to 21 less than eight minutes into the second half, behind a 33-14 run that start late in the first half.
The lead would swell to 26 at one point, as the outcome was never in doubt after halftime.
Providence shot 47.8 from three-point range while draining 11 triples for the game.
Add that to a 55.8 field-goal percentage, and the Friars had the recipe for success.
White led all scorers with 19 points, as Alpha Diallo (18 points), David Duke (16) and Isaiah Jackson (13) all reached double figures in a balanced attack for Providence. Jordan Tucker posted a team-high 14 points for Butler.
It marked the third meeting between these two teams since Feb. 26, with Providence taking each game. While the Bulldogs managed to force overtime in the first game, they were not able to provide much competition in either of the last two contests. The Friars held a 27-point lead at one point in the March 9 clash before coasting to a 13-point victory.
Providence will now face top-seeded Villanova on Thursday in the quarterfinals.
St. John's 82, DePaul 74
DePaul got the best of St. John's in each of their regular-season meetings, but with the stakes raised, the Red Storm got the victory that mattered most.
St. John's set the tone early by jumping out to a 10-point lead within the first seven minutes. However DePaul was able fight make and keep it close throughout the first half. In fact, the Blue Demons fought all the way back to even the score on a number of occasions, though they were never able to grab a lead.
A team effort, led by Justin Simon's 12 points in the first half, helped the Red Storm own a 39-35 edge after the opening 20 minutes.
It would not take long for St. John's to push the lead back up to double digits in the second half. An 11-5 run coming out of the intermission helped put Simon and Co. in full control.
The lead ultimately grew to 17 at one point, as the Blue Demons were never able to make things interesting down the stretch.
Simon, Shamorie Ponds and Mustapha Heron finished the game with 18 points for the Red Storm, as all five starters reached double figures St. John's. Blue Demons senior guard Eli Cain dropped a game-high 23 points in a losing effort.
DePaul defeated then-No. 24 St. John's 79-71 on Jan. 12 and followed that up with a 92-83 victory on March 3.
St. John's advances to face second-seeded Marquette in the second round on Thursday night.