Capitals

Cotton, Providence defeat Villanova 69-66

Cotton, Providence defeat Villanova 69-66

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) Bryce Cotton scored 24 points, and Vincent Council added 15, leading Providence to a 69-66 victory over Villanova Saturday afternoon.

The game was a tale of two halves for Providence (10-8, 2-4 Big East). The Friars trailed 31-24 at halftime, but outscored Villanova (11-7, 2-3) 45-35 in the second half.

JayVaughn Pinkston paced the Wildcats from the start, scoring 10 of Villanova's first 13 points. The Wildcats went on a 15-2 run over a 4-minute span late in the first half.

Villanova found itself in foul trouble with 14 fouls in the first half, putting the Friars in the bonus at 10:33. But Providence could not capitalize at first, making just five of its first 14 free-throw attempts and 11 of 20 in the half. Furthermore, the Wildcats finished the half with seven players with two fouls, avoiding any major foul trouble and ending the half with the lead.

The second half was a different story for Providence, which began the period with a 13-4 run, marked by seven from Cotton.

Villanova started the half with seven turnovers on its first twelve possessions, finishing the game with 25 overall. For the Friars, Kris Dunn had two steals in the first 2 minutes of the half, contributing to a team total of 12.

The Friars and Wildcats matched each other basket for basket for the final 10 minutes. Momentum gradually shifted from the Wildcats to the Friars, who never trailed in the final 5:14.

Cotton hit a key 3-pointer with 1:02 left that appeared to seal the deal for the Friars, putting them up 63-57. After a Kris Dunn dunk widened the lead to 65-57, Villanova cut the lead to 67-62, and a Dunn technical foul that led to two Ryan Arcidiacono free throws cut the margin to 67-64 with 26.4 seconds left.

Villanova could not capitalize on the ensuing possession, however, and free throws by Dunn and Cotton put the game out of reach.

Providence led Villanova in offensive rebounds 19-9 and held the Wildcats to zero offensive boards in the first half. That came after the Wildcats tallied one offensive rebound in their last game against Pittsburgh.

Pinkston led the Wildcats with 20 points in the loss, and Darrun Hilliard added 14.

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

The Stanley Cup is not the only trophy that will be awarded at the end of the Stanley Cup Final series between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights. The Conn Smythe will also be given to the player deemed the most valuable to his team during the playoffs.

Who will that player be?

It's not hard to figure out who the frontrunner is right now. Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't just been the best goalie in the playoffs, he's been the best player with a dominant postseason in which he has posted a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. He has been so dominant, he could win it even if Vegas loses the series.

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

The last player from the losing team to win the Conn Smythe was Jean-Sebastian Giguere from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003.

But what about the Caps?

Alex Ovechkin is the leader of Washington and has been absolutely dominant throughout the postseason. He even scored the series-clinching goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Surprisingly, however, Ovechkin does not lead the team in points through the playoffs. Evgeny Kuznetsov holds that edge with 24 points to Ovechkin's 22.

Will their offensive dominance propel them to win the Cup and the Conn Smythe? Will a different player emerge as the hero of the series?

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

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Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

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Twitter/City of Las Vegas

Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

The Washington Capitals official #ALLCAPS hashtag started in 2017 during a Caps-Penguins game after the Pittsburgh Penguins' official Twitter account decided to tweet in all lowercase letters during the game. 

Now, as the Caps look to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final ahead of Game 1 Monday, Vegas has followed suit by changing their iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign to include only lowercase letters, a jab at the Capitals #ALLCAPS.

Additionally, the City's official Twitter account has changed their handle to "the city of las vegas" without any capital letters and the hashtag #nocaps.

It will be interesting to see how the Capitals' official Twitter will respond...

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