Nobody likes to be the villain.
The Ramblers, who made a magical run in the NCAA Tournament to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed, saw their season come to an end Saturday, as No. 3 seed MI ousted them 69-57.
Stingy defense was part of the identity of Beilein's team for the first time this season. MI won the two previous meetings.
After a slow first-half, the stars were out for MI as star forward Moritz Wagner recorded 24 points and 15 rebounds.
MI plays Villanova in the Championship game on Monday. It had dispatched the No. 11 seed that had charmed the country with its plucky style of play and its 98-year-old nun as chaplain.
"What I said to them was: The more you invest in something, the harder it is to give it up", Moser said a few minutes later in his press conference. "And the way they're playing, it's incredible". They definitely deserved to be here.
"The whole villain thing, you guys love to write about it, talk about it, but at the end of the day it's just basketball, you know?" "And we just stayed the course", said MI sophomore guard Charles Matthews. "And I knew him from that final game", Wagner said.More news: U.S. jury acquits Orlando nightclub shooter's widow
Loyola entered as the darling of the tournament because they play in a league, the Missouri Valley, that gets less attention than a team in the Big Ten (or Big East or Big 12) is going to receive. That's no Cinderella story. "They capitalized on that run where we made six turnovers in a row".
MI has won 14 games in a row after ending Loyola's 14-game winning streak. The Wolverines were down just three points with building momentum. Wagner sank the most, with three.
Loyola plays in Atlanta on Thursday night against No. 7 seed Nevada, which had a huge rally Sunday night to beat No. 2 seed Cincinnati 75-73. "But just give credit to MI", said senior guard Ben Richardson.
In the second half, Michigan's depth and productivity overwhelmed the Ramblers, who committed 11 turnovers after the intermission.
Wagner became the third player in the last 40 years with a 20 and 15 game in a Final Four game, joining Hakeem Olajuwon of Houston in 1983 and Larry Bird of Indiana State in 1979.
Wagner struck twice from 3-point range in the second half, both of them enormously consequential.
"To be honest, I just kept looking possession-by-possession", Wagner said after the game. "She was so happy to be on this run with us and we should keep our heads high and be happy with what we accomplished". "We were up 10 points in the second half, we should have won the game", point guard Clayton Custer said.More news: US Open champion Stephens wins Miami Open title
All four teams are past national champions.
"We inspired a city".
"I think a lot of people will remember this run for a long time", Richardson said at his locker. Yeah no that would be just a really fun upset I guess and I like to see them go as far as they can. The word "Loyola" has a new meaning now.
I asked him what it is he liked so much about Sister Jean.
They inspired the opposition, too.
Sister Jean didn't talk to the media after the game, and apparently "she's done for a while".
"There's a lot of things that I learned, life lessons from this guy", Richardson said. "I just thought the entire concept and everything that she brought to the table".More news: LeBron James on Lue approaching return: 'We starting to get full'