Down four points late in the game, you usually see teams go for broke and do everything they can to claw back in the game.
MI let its fans do the talking: The Wolverines had a distinct home-court advantage from thousands of vocal fans packed into the lower bowl of the Lakers' and Clippers' home arena, and they seemed to need all of those cheers to survive an off shooting night. Coach Leonard Hamilton demonstrated his frustration in a postgame interview with CBS sideline reporter Dana Jacobson.
Jacobson continued explaining her question as Hamilton added an eyeroll and offered few words of explanation.
It's why MI freshman Jordan Poole was counted on to hit a game-winning shot against Houston in the second round, and why he finished scoreless in two minutes of playing time against Florida State. When Duncan Robinson, a transfer from Williams College in Division III, dropped in a layup, it was 38-28, Florida State having scored just 2 points through the half's first six minutes.
Yet, 45 days later, not only is MI bound for San Antonio, it hasn't lost since.
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It's why the Wolverines were able to gut out a 58-54 win against Florida State in a defensive struggle Saturday night, just as they were able to have five players in double figures two nights prior in a rout against Texas A&M. MI will be one of them.
Extending its winning streak to 14 games, Loyola enjoyed strong shooting against a Kansas State team which relied on strong defense in the NCAA Tournament.
When pressed about it after the game, Hamilton was combative and dismissive.
Loyola-Chicago continued its improbable postseason run, beating Kansas State 78-62 on Saturday night to advance to its first Final Four in 55 years. "They're a really good team", he said.
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"I've been watching them".
The matchup between MI and Florida State for the right to go to the Final Four seemed like a flawless contrast in styles.
The third-seeded Wolverines are much less of a surprise, but the achievement is no less impressive for coach John Beilein's squad, which wore its "Do More, Say Less" shirts throughout the week.
"I said we're shooting 33 percent", Beilein said.
MI had a distinct home-court advantage from thousands of vocal fans packed into the lower bowl of Staples Center. The expected path was different, but they were able to defeat Montana, Houston, and Texas A&M to get to the regional final. The crowd included Rudy Tomjanovich, the MI alumnus and former Lakers coach, who watched in Wolverines gear near courtside. The Ramblers beat Cincinnati, which had three black starters, in the national championship game. "We're still going to win the game with our defense".
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Before the march, a choir made up of students from various schools in the region performed on stage at Coolidge Park. The president himself was in Florida at Trump International Golf Club, located about 35 miles from Parkland.