There was a comeback and a blowout. Playing with passion and tenacity, while hitting a number of buzzer beaters made this Loyola team one for underdog fans everywhere.
Wagner, not known for his defensive prowess, chipped in with key plays during a game-changing, four-minute stretch late in the second half when Loyola turned it over on five straight possessions and MI turned a three-point deficit into a 10-point lead.
Villanova, who won it all in 2016 on a buzzer-beating three, aims for its second title in three years, while MI seeks its first championship since 1989.
Both teams have the same five starters they've used their previous four NCAA Tournament games - and for most of the season. It was Michigan's first lead since 15-13. And they hit some shots. Villanova won by a 95-79 final score, and due to the Wildcats' three-point barrage it can be argued that the game wasn't as close as the final margin would indicate. "And then they didn't get too many second-half chances".
The Ramblers just didn't make shots like they normally do.
"The second half, we ran a little more set plays just because we were in front our bench, so it's easy to call". I feel bad for Kansas. They're a great team. It made two of its first 10 shots, had three guarded layups roll off and adjourned to Porter's timeout seven-plus minutes into the game.
Moe Wagner sparked the Wolverines to victory by delivering 24 points, 15 rebounds and three steaks.
The Wolverines can play Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman as the defacto point guard with Duncan Robinson and Charles Matthews, who scored 17 points Saturday, on the wings.
"I honestly just tried to do my job", Wagner said, who helped MI overcome a 10-point deficit.
The game kept people on their toes until the second half. "We have one more to go".
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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.
MI forward Moe Wagner was the best player in Wolverines' Final Four matchup with Loyola-Chicago. "This is my roommate, so I've got my hands tied with him the whole trip long".
For much of the National Semifinal against Loyola, the MI basketball team looked off.
The 98-year-old nun who sends the players notes of encouragement, writes scouting reports of upcoming opponents and serves as chaplain drew applause and gawkers as she arrived courtside on Saturday about an hour before the first semifinal.
For the first four games of Loyola-Chicago's run through the NCAA tournament, the Ramblers looked like the better team every time. No 11 seed has ever advanced past the Final Four.
As did Loyola-Chicago coach Moser, a former assistant at St. Louis University, in his players.
"The more you invest in something the harder it is to give up". They don't want to wake up from this dream. "They have so much to be proud of". They changed a community.
"They changed the perception of when you say 'Loyola Chicago, ' they changed the perception of it", Moser said. "And I'll tell you this: When you're done as a young player, you know it's not as much what you left behind; it's what you impacted".
The lowest seed to win the NCAA men's basketball championship is No. 8 Villanova in 1985.