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Michigan Advances To Title Game Thanks To Mo Wagner

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What a goddamn game by Mo Wager. Hell, I’d throw Charles Matthews in there too, but the story is Wagner. Michigan trailed at half 29-22, before using a 17-4 run at one point to really push the lead and eventually beat Loyola 69-57.

But, like I said the story here was Wagner. It was the biggest matchup coming into the game. Krutwig vs Wagner. Who ends up taking advantage of the mismatch? While Krutwig played fine, ending with 17 points, Wagner just seemed to show up the entire game. He had 11 points and 11 rebounds in the first half, ending with 24, 15. But it was more than that. He had at least four deflected passes, leading to two steals. He had a couple of assists, one especially to Charles Matthews on a backcut in the second half.

Obviously, we have to talk about Loyola here. They were the story, but continue the trend of a double digit seed making the Final Four and not advancing to the title game. They looked the part early though. I mentioned the score at half, but even early in the second half, Loyola was answering all of Michigan’s buckets. They continued to keep the lead around six points, which seemed like it would be enough with the way Loyola was defending.

Then Beilein made some changes. He brought in Jordan Poole, who scored 6 points in the second half, all at key times. Shit, with the game tied he ran a set to get Poole to the block on a cut, which led to a foul and Poole hitting two free throws for the lead. He picked his time to rest Wagner, letting Teske steal some minutes until Wagner could seal the game. He brought in Simmons for an extended period for Simpson, which resulted in a much needed three. It was a masterpiece in the second half, by one of the 10 best coaches in America.

Michigan now advances to its second title game under Beilein. Anyone know of a Michigan graduate I should probably talk to right now?