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Late Michigan Surge Ends Loyola-Chicago's Heroic Cinderella Run

Illustration for article titled Late Michigan Surge Ends Loyola-Chicagos Heroic Cinderella Run
Photo: Eric Gay (AP)

For a good 30-plus minutes Saturday night it looked like the unlikely tournament run of 11th-seed Loyola-Chicago would live on. The Ramblers had a seven-point lead at halftime; that lead would grow to 10 points early in the second half, and stood as high as eight points at the 11:25 mark. From that point on the Wolverines outscored the underdogs 32-12, and wound up with a decisive 69-57 win. Barf.


Because I am a sucker for sports underdogs, when large frumpus Cameron Krutwig threw in a ridiculous and-one layup to put the Ramblers up five with 9:19 on the clock, I leapt off the damn sofa like a psycho. It seemed like they might do the shit!


But it was not to be. Moritz Wagner and Charles Matthews came alive in the second half: Wagner scored 13 of his game-high 24 points after the break, including the game-tying three pointer with just under seven minutes left on the clock; Matthews scored nine points in the second half, including a breakaway dunk inside of two minutes to basically ice the game:

Michigan will advance to the national championship. Loyola-Chicago, a sharp and massively fun team that also packed the pluck and charm of a very good underdog run, can console themselves with the knowledge that they and their cool old nun will be remembered as the story of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

Staff Writer, Deadspin

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