Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

Michigan's magical run is in jeopardy at the half against Louisville

Wagner finished with a career-high 26 points, getting anything he wanted down low and D.J. Wilson iced it with four clutch free throws and a game-sealing block in the final seconds.

Louisville (25-9) had won six straight Round of 32 games with the last loss coming in 2007.

MI has one of the best point guards in the nation in Walton and will need another big game from him if the Wolverines are going to pull off the upset.

The Louisville Cardinals are always a fixture among the top teams in the game which says they are a threat to win the National Championship.

The victor of today's MI vs. Louisville game will move on to the Sweet Sixteen to take on the victor of the No. 3 OR vs. The Cardinals were the team that beat MI in 2013 title game.

The Cardinals were up by nine minutes four minutes into the second half, but things got out of hand after that. MI marches on to the Sweet 16 with a 78-70 victory. John Beilein's Wolverines shot 63 percent from the floor (17-for-27) while holding the Cardinals to a 1-for-10 mark from long range thanks to a compressing defense that negated Louisville's length inside. MI defeated Oklahoma State in the first round of the tournament 92-91, hitting 16 three point shots in the process.

The final 1:18 demonstrated Michigan's resiliency as the Wolverines never yielded to Louisville's trademark pressure. "He just makes the right play at all times". Otherwise, he has constructed exceptional teams from players not destined to be National Basketball Association all-stars, whether it was the Kentucky "Unforgettables" group in 1992 that included John Pelphrey and Deron Feldhaus or the 2013 Louisville NCAA champions whose biggest stars were guards Russ Smith and Peyton Siva. The Cardinals won the rebounding war (24-16) and Mangok Mathiang scored seven points in as many minutes on strong shooting (3-of-4).

MI kept their great postseason run alive with arguably the most entertaining game of the first round.

To put it into perspective, Louisville had 14 points in the paint with under 10 minutes left while MI had 16 total points. Walton without a point in the first 15 minutes.

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