Loyola Falls to Michigan as Cinderella Run Comes to an End

Loyola's Cinderella run has come to an end, as Michigan has pulled away and will advance to the national championship game. 

The Ramblers led by as many as 10 points in the half, but Michigan stormed back and advanced to the title game. 

UPDATE: 6:56 p.m. 

After a 9-0 run, Michigan now leads by four points with less than six minutes to go in the game. Charles Matthews and Moritz Wagner are leading the way for the Wolverines, who are looking to put the Ramblers away. 

UPDATE: 6:42 p.m.

Here comes Michigan....

The Wolverines, down eight points after Clayton Custer made a pair of free throws, have trimmed the Loyola lead to three with 10 minutes remaining, as Duncan Robinson buried a three-pointer to make it a 45-42 game. 

UPDATE: 6:31 p.m. 

Michigan has come out of the break firing, but Loyola has answered every bucket, maintaining a seven-point lead just over four minutes into the frame. 

Cameron Krutwig has 11 points in the game to lead all Loyola scorers. 

UPDATE: 6:00 p.m. 

The Ramblers are leading at halftime, and their suffocating defense has been the reason why. They held Michigan to just 22 points, and when Donte Ingram dropped in a shot at the buzzer, it gave Loyola a seven-point lead at the break. 

UPDATE: 5:46 p.m. 

After falling behind early, Loyola stormed back with an 11-4 run to take the lead with four minutes remaining in the first half. 

Cameron Krutwig and Marques Townes each have six points for the Ramblers, and Mo Wagner has 11 points and nine rebounds for the Wolverines. 

UPDATE: 5:21 p.m. 

It's been rough sledding early for Loyola, as they've struggled from the field. Michigan meanwhile has found a way to race out to a 12-4 lead thanks to a 9-0 run in the early stages of the contest. 

The Ramblers, who have made it to their first Final Four since 1963, aren’t ready for the clock to hit midnight on their Cinderella run, and are hoping to tame a Wolverines offense that has the potential to rack up points.

Loyola’s defense has been a strength of the team all season long, as they’ve gone 14-0 in games where they’ve allowed less than 60 points. They haven’t quite been that stingy in this year’s NCAA tournament, but they have held all four of their opponents to fewer than 70 points in their quartet of triumphs.

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To keep that run going, the Ramblers will have to keep a trio of talented Wolverines in check. Mortiz Wagner, who stands nearly seven-feet tall, could pose a matchup issue on the inside for Loyola, and he is the Wolverines’ leading scorer as he’s averaged 14.3 points per game this season. He is also grabbing nearly seven rebounds a game, posing quite a challenge for Cameron Krutwig and the Loyola defense.

A pair of Michigan guards will also test Loyola, with Charles Matthews and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman both having solid tournaments so far. Matthews has scored in double figures in all four games of the tournament, including 17 points in Michigan’s 58-54 win over Florida State in the Elite Eight.

Abdur-Rahkman was a big part of the team’s offense in the Sweet 16, scoring 24 points as the Wolverines thrashed Texas A&M 99-72.

On the Ramblers’ side of the equation, they will need their top players to step up their offensive games. Clayton Custer only scored seven points and went 2-of-8 from the field in Loyola’s win over Kansas State, and he will need to be a lot more efficient with the ball against the Wolverines.

Donte Ingram did have 12 points against the Wildcats, but he struggled in the previous two tournament games, combining for just eight points in wins over Tennessee and Nevada.

Interior defense and a strong offensive start will be key for the Ramblers if they want to advance to the national championship game.

Tip-off is scheduled for 5:09 p.m. 

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