Pat Caputo - Michigan vs. Loyola, what college basketball should be all about

Pat Caputo - Michigan vs. Loyola, what college basketball should be all about

The No. 3 Michigan Wolverines survived a late push from No. 9 Florida State to win, 58-54, and advance to the Final Four in San Antonio next weekend. No, it was not as awe-inspiring as their Sweet 16 rout of Texas A&M, but it better defined the Wolverines. Richardson made six of seven 3-pointers.

The Wolverines hadn't caused much disturbance to those nets at Staples Center during the West Region final.

With Michigan fans holding their breath, Savoy then missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer and two more 3-pointers in the final minute, including a final shot under pressure with 12 seconds left.

The first half wasn't pretty, and MI took a 27-26 lead into the break despite failing to get a field goal in the final 5:45.

As a result, any hopes MI had of jumping on Florida State in the same way it did Texas A&M - when it scored the first five points and recorded a blowout, wire-to-wire victory - quickly evaporated. The crowd - and Michigan's bench - reacted like it was the clinching shot.

More news: Elite Eight set after wins by Villanova, Duke, Kansas and Texas Tech

MI guard Charles Matthews had 17 points and eight rebounds while Moritz Wagner added 12 points and six rebounds.

The Ramblers have Sister Jean, too. The Wolverines shouldn't underestimate the Ramblers, though. Instead, they let the clock run out and the Wolverines won 58-54. Mississippi State, Loyola's regional semifinal opponent, had to leave the state under darkness because the governor didn't want the all-white Bulldogs to play against Loyola. It might be tougher in the national championship game, but the Wolverines have taken every type of blow imaginable and responded in the proper way.

A final Savoy miss, and a rebound secured by Robinson, ensured the Wolverines would be headed back to the Final Four for the first time since 2014, and the second under Beilein. It remains iffy whether Wagner will even be selected in the first round, although it would seem foolish if some National Basketball Association team didn't. They are not only a credit to the university they represent, but their state. Loyola's ride has been even more improbable. This is the second final four Loyola's has reached. "They must be a really good team, that's why they're in the Final Four, and that's all that matters".

Exceptional achievement, often against the odds, and above-board - not unseemly headlines. Michigan's best free throw shooter, Duncan Robinson, had the ball, up by four points in the waning seconds.

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