Michigan Ends Loyola-Chicago's Cinderella Run; Reaches National Championship Game

Tuesday, 03 Apr, 2018

A regulation basketball court comprises 4,700 square feet, and Michigan's Moe Wagner covered all of that and so much more during the first 40 minutes he spent at the 2018 NCAA Final Four.

Wagner was the only reason why MI was in this game at halftime, as he put the team on his back during the first half. Once again, Loyola showed its range as a team in being able to play that way, but in the end, it missed its usual shot-making.

Check the scoreboard above for the final score and click on the stats link for game stats. She says, "Oh yeah". A huge key was how MI dropped their defense back into the paint to cut down Custer's dribble penetration angles and how he was able to get the ball to Krutwig for good looks inside.

Terry Mills, a starter on that 1989 team, sat courtside at the Alamodome as part of Michigan's radio broadcast team. VCU (2011) was handled in an ugly game by a Butler team carrying its own Cinderella banner. It will face the victor of Saturday night's matchup of No. 1 seeds, Villanova and Kansas, for a shot at its second title in program history (Monday at 9:20 p.m. ET on TBS).

First, of course, there will always be UMBC becoming the first 16-seed in history to topple a 1-seed.

Lovable Loyola, with superfan Sister Jean courtside and their fans behind the bench standing for pretty much the entire game, could not conjure another upset.

As the Ramblers played with the clear impression they belonged squarely alongside a Big Ten tournament champion with a 13-game winning streak and a very large name, they looked like they might have a big name themselves.

This can be a positive. "We're going to give her a little bit of an extended break from everything. and let her kind of catch her breath".

That stretch, however, will end Monday night as both Villanova and Kansas are No. 1 seeds. Now it won't be, and that's a shame. But the opening and ending minutes were all MI, as the clock struck midnight for the Cinderellas of March Madness.

When Michigan and Loyola-Chicago meet in the Final Four on Saturday night, one team will soon suffer its first loss in a long time.

"But it was as tough a locker room as I've seen because they believed they belonged and they believed like they wanted to advance", Moser said.

The Wildcats reached the Final Four in 2009 before falling to eventual national champion North Carolina, then failed to get out of the NCAA Tournament's opening weekend 7/8for another six years. Let's not forget that there are no Ramblers who seem even remotely capable of sniffing the National Basketball Association.

Yet Michigan coach John Beilein sounds like he thinks the Ramblers might have been good enough to win a title in one of the power conferences.

To hear Eli's segments on Sunday's show, click on the video above or below.

The difference between being a March Madness immortal and a March Madness never was is often razor thin.

Thanks for the memories, Ramblers.