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Moritz Wagner Lifts Michigan Past Loyola-Chicago In Final Four

03 April, 2018, 03:03 | Author: Carla Brady
  • Kansas guard Malik Newman runs on the court

Loyola-Chicago's dream and also spiritual season ended in San Antonio after losing Saturday to MI in the Final Four, 69-57.

The third-seeded Wolverines (33-7) will take a 14-game winning streak into their first appearance in the national championship game since 2013, and second under coach Jon Beilein. "She was so happy to be on this run with us, and we should keep our heads high and be happy with what we accomplished".

MI will play either Villanova or Kansas for its first NCAA title since 1989 on Monday night at the Alamodome.

Sister Jean is 98 years old, but that didn't stop her from attending all of Loyola-Chicago's tournament games and becoming a highlight of numerous television broadcasts.

Loyola coach Porter Moser certainly believed the Ramblers belonged.

"It's unbelievable when you have a group of people who believe", Moser said.

Loyola had no answers for the 6-foot-11 Wagner.

Wagner was absolutely brilliant on Saturday night, going for 24 points on 10-for-16 shooting from the field with 15 rebounds and three steals.

"If you put it like that, that's it's probably cool".

"I just kept on pounding that vision", Moser said.

Michigan's first half was, outside of one area, a bundle of frustration.

Their 17 3s so far against Kansas on way to a 67-47 lead are the most ever in a Final Four game.

"And I tried to do my job, tried not to foul and stay solid, build walls and grab rebounds".

Or, as MI guard Jaaron Simmon, put it: "He was a beast tonight". "So next year when Bradley beats Loyola, you know then we'll have a lot more hype".

It was a full night.

The game started in Michigan's favor with the only three-pointers between the two teams in the first half coming from point guard Charles Matthews and then center Mortiz "Moe" Wagner.

Freshman big-man Cameron Krutwig had a great game for Loyola, totaling 17 points with six rebounds.

This Loyola team became just the fourth No. 11 seed to reach the Final Four with patient offense and precision passing. And I want them to enjoy it. "We took some time to laugh today. So not dropping our heads was one of the main adjustments we had to make".

Just 20 seconds into the half, Krutwig baited Wagner into an And-1 call underneath the basket leading Loyola to the game's first double-digit lead, 32-22.

When Wagner hit a 3-pointer (he had three of them) with 2 minutes, 59 seconds left, it put MI up by 8, and a clearly exhausted Loyola seemed done for.

But after Loyola took a 41-31 lead with 14:10 to play, the momentum shifted toward MI.

Because Twitter is Twitter, even Sister Jean's heartbreak was reduced to a Crying Jordan meme. And we're all for the 98-year-old nun throwing back a few brews should her team upset the basketball world and come away with a title. "Despite going out this way, were going to never forget this".

MI has more work to do.

The Wolverines are seeking to win their first NCAA Tournament championship title since 1989.

The team's 32 wins set a program record and the Ramblers made it to the Final Four for just the second time in school history.

Richardson pulled his maroon No. 14 jersey over his red face as Custer hugged his buddy a little tighter, both trying to process the disappointment of a 69-57 loss to MI in the ntional semifinal. His free throw made it 54-47 with 4:59 left, completing a 17-2 MI run. They scored 22 points off 16 turnovers by Loyola. Loyola loves the 3-point shot, but hit only 1 of 10 attempts.


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