CINCINNATI (AP) — Trevon Bluiett scored 23 points in his final game at the Cintas Center, and No. 3 Xavier never trailed while beating Providence 84-74 on Wednesday night, clinching at least a share of its first Big East championship.
The Musketeers (26-4, 14-3) can win it outright by beating DePaul on Saturday and end Villanova’s run of four straight regular season titles.
Bluiett will leave Xavier as its second all-time scorer. He made the game’s first basket on a driving layup, and finished off the Friars with a dunk and a pair of free throws in the final minute. Quentin Goodin added 18 points, one shy of his career high.
Providence (18-12, 9-8) was led by Maliek White with 15 points.
No. 4 Villanova 69, Seton Hall 68, OT
NEWARK, N.J. — Mikal Bridges scored 23 points, Jalen Brunson made big plays down the stretch and No. 4 Villanova avoided consecutive losses for the first time since the 2012-13 season.
Brunson, who was 1 of 8 from the field midway through the second half, finished with 14 points, including two free throws in the waning seconds of overtime to give Villanova (26-4, 13-4 Big East) a 69-66 lead.
Khadeen Carrington closed out the scoring with two free throws with a second to play to finish off a 23-point night for Seton Hall (20-10, 9-8), However, he also missed a free throw with 11.6 seconds left in regulation that could have given the Pirates a late one-point lead.
No. 18 Clemson 76, Florida State 63
CLEMSON, S.C. — Marcquise Reed scored 22 points and Clemson won a program-record 11th Atlantic Coast Conference game.
The Tigers (22-7, 11-6) had won 10 league games six times in 64 years as ACC members, but have never before won this many conference games in a regular season.
Florida State (19-10, 8-9) closed to 64-61 on Phil Cofer’s 3-pointer with 2:58 remaining, but got no closer.
Gabe DeVoe had 13 points while Shelton Mitchell and Elijah Thomas had 11 points each for the Tigers.
Cofer led the Seminoles with 21 points.
No. 21 Nevada 101, UNLV 75
LAS VEGAS — Cody Martin scored 26 and Jordan Caroline added 22 to lead Nevada to an easy victory over UNLV.
Martin, who was 10 of 19 from the field, also had nine rebounds, seven assists, and three steals as the rivals split their regular season meetings.
Caleb Martin added 19 points for the Wolf Pack, who converted nine of their first 13 three-point attempts to pull away early on the Rebels’ Senior Night.
Nevada (26-5, 15-2 Mountain West Conference) had clinched the conference regular season title outright on Tuesday when second-place Boise State lost at San Diego State.
Kendall Stephens had 14 points and Josh Hall had 10 points for the winners, who have won the conference for the second straight year.
Brandon McCoy led UNLV (19-11, 8-9) with 19 points and 17 rebounds, while Shakur Juiston added 14 points and 14 rebounds.
No. 23 Kentucky 96, Mississippi 78
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kevin Knox had 22 points and Quade Green added 18, including eight during a 15-5 second-half run that helped Kentucky pull away.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 17 points, Wenyen Gabriel 15 and PJ Washington 10 as the Wildcats (21-9, 10-7 Southeastern Conference) won their fourth consecutive game and home finale, the first without departing seniors under coach John Calipari.
Green had two 3-pointers and a layup during the run that provided an 82-69 lead with 6:40 remaining.
Terence Davis had 26 points for the Rebels (12-18, 5-12), who lost for the ninth time in 11 games.
No. 25 Houston 69, SMU 56
DALLAS — Rob Gray had 19 points and nine assists and Corey Davis Jr. added 17 points to lead Houston.
The Cougars (23-6, 13-4 American) have won seven of eight games and are a half-game behind second-place Wichita State.
SMU (16-14, 6-11) has lost seven of eight games since leading scorer Shake Milton was sidelined with a hand injury.
Jahmal McMurray scored 13 of his 17 points in the first half to lead the Mustangs.