Few photos will better capture the heartbreak of the NCAA Tournament than that. There was a comeback and a blowout. Rebounds - Loyola of Chicago 31 (Ingram 9), MI 35 (Wagner 14).
The Wolverines beat the Ramblers 69-57 in the Final Four matchup Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, knocking the highest-seed from the 2018 NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament. Loyola also won its first Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) title this season.
While Loyola and MI weren't picked by most to get to the Final Four, it was more widely anticipated that No. 1 seeds Villanova and Kansas would.
The crux of Villanova's attack was a historic three-point barage.
As the Ramblers aimed to become the first No. 11 seed to reach a national title game, and as they looked like that No. 11 seeding had been some sort of mirage, MI tried to whack away at a 32-22 deficit that struck it early in the second half.
The second half from the Wolverines was in stark contrast to the first-half effort.
"Not dropping our heads, that was the main thing", Simmons said. "We made every shot to start the game, and when you do that, you get up 22-4.it's tough to come back on". They're a great team.
They too felt a little disappointment regarding the Ramblers' Final Four loss.
In a winning effort, forward Moritz Wagner led the Wolverines with 24 points and 15 rebounds, along with three steals and one assist.
Wagner, playing in front of his parents who made the trip from Germany, scored 24 points, had 15 rebounds and was 10 for 16 from the field.
Staring down a 10-point deficit against an underdog that seemed nothing short of blessed during the madness of March, Moe Wagner and the Michigan Wolverines clamped down on Loyola-Chicago and ended the Rambers' memorable NCAA Tournament run. "The shots were falling the second half". It's a lot more fun when the ball goes through the net.
Loyola turned it over on three straight possessions and Wagner tipped in a miss by Poole, was fouled and converted the three-point play to put MI up 54-47 with just under five minutes left.
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. The Ramblers had no answer for MI star Moe Wagner. That's now the longest active streak in Division I.
All four teams are past national champions.
It became MI, the No. 3 seed that brought to the Alamodome its 13-game winning streak, which finally would see off a Ramblers team, its oft-gorgeous offense and its rock-star 98-year-old chaplain, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt.
Loyola-Chicago, which used a 16-3 run to erase an early 12-4 deficit, led 45-37 with 11:25 remaining.