But they kept at it, and their coach was grateful.
"Honestly, I'm not great at resiliency," Wright said. "The stuff ate at me this past game [Creighton]. But these guys, like Ryan, JayVaughn [Pinkston], James Bell, Tony Chennault, are leaders.
"After that Creighton game, I'm talking to people on our staff and people around us, asking them, 'How are the guys?' And they'd say, 'Great, they're ready to go.' To be up and down in this game and keep coming back . . . I'm very proud of these guys."
The Friars (17-10, 7-7) tied the game for the 15th time, at 79-79, on Bryce Cotton's follow-up three-point basket with 21.4 seconds remaining in the second overtime. But following a timeout, Arcidiacono dribbled the clock down, then went to his left, got a step on the Friars' Kadeem Batts, and drove in for a lefthanded layup.
Batts fouled him, and the sophomore's free throw put Villanova up by three.
"I had missed the previous two game-winners," Arcidiacono said. "I got in the lane at the end of the first overtime and I thought I could do it again, and that's what I did."
LaDontae Henton, whose three-point basket tied the game at the end of regulation, had a pretty good look at a tying three in the left corner in the final second, but the shot went off the front rim.
Arcidiacono said it was important for the Wildcats, who shot 7 of 10 from the field in the overtimes, to move on from Sunday's 101-80 blowout loss at Creighton, and be at their best against a Providence team that needed a win to enhance its NCAA tournament chances.
"We weren't going to let one game define us," he said. "We just want to respond and that's what we did. We had the game, they tied it. We had the game, they tied it. Luckily I just got the basket at the end."
Arcidiacono, who knocked down a team-high four three-pointers, finished with 21 points, six assists, and three steals. Pinkston added 20 points, on 8-for-12 shooting, in 46 minutes, and Bell contributed 17 and nine rebounds. Cotton, the Big East's second-leading scorer, scored 22 but had to work for all of them, and Batts finished with 21.
Now all Wright has to do to put the Creighton game behind him.
"I still haven't gotten over the Creighton game yet," he said. "[The players] move on. I still haven't gotten over it. I will, though. But I like this team. It's fun coaching this team. They have a great attitude and they never give in."