2018-03-31 20:35:04
Michigan Ends the Loyola-Chicago Dream in the Final Four

20:35, March 31 179 0

SAN ANTONIO — The third-seeded Michigan Wolverines closed the book on 11th-seeded Loyola-Chicago’s improbable Final Four run, defeating the Ramblers, 69-57, in the national semifinals on Saturday night to advance to the title game on Monday night.

Michigan will meet either Villanova or Kansas, two top seeds who were set to play in the other semifinal later Saturday at the Alamodome. Loyola, the tournament’s captivating underdog, was seeking to become the lowest seed ever to reach the final.

It will be Michigan’s first appearance in the title game since 2013, when the Wolverines lost to Louisville, whose championship was recently vacated because of N.C.A.A. violations.

Michigan, which will be seeking its second title, has played in the championship game five other times. The Wolverines beat Seton Hall in 1989 and finished as the runner-up in 1965, ’76, ’92 and ’93, but the appearances in the ’90s, with the so-called Fab Five, were erased by the N.C.A.A. because of infractions.

If defense wins championships, then Michigan is in luck. The Wolverines were primarily an offensive team before this season, because Coach John Beilein is an expert on that side of the court. But a new assistant coach, Luke Yaklich, who was in the high school ranks as recently as 2013, reinvigorated Michigan’s offense, making it one of the best in the country.