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Wolverines defeat "Cinderella" Loyola; head to national title game


The University of Michigan is moving on to the national championship game for the first time since 2013, after ending Loyola-Chicago's incredible run in the NCAA Tournament.
Moe Wagner had 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Wolverines, who overcame a 10-point deficit early in the second half to beat Loyola 69-57. Charles Matthews added 17 points.

The Ramblers, the No. 11 seed in the South Region, were in their first Final Four since 1963 -- the year they were national champions.

Michigan steadily improved over the course of the season under the tutelage of head coach John Beilein. But the Ramblers, underdog of the NCAA tournament, didn't go away easily. 

"I was very surprised how good Loyola is, they gave us a good fight," said Michigan fan Gary Christie, watching the game at a bar in Ann Arbor. "To see [Michigan] learn and grow and turn into a final two team, I've gotta give John Beilein a lot of credit. What a coach."

Freshman center Cameron Krutwig had 17 points and Clayton Custer 15 for Loyola, which finished the season 32-6. That was a school record for wins.

The Wolverines (33-7) will play Villanova  in the national championship game Monday.

In Ann Arbor, fans were celebrating a comeback win.

"I'm super hype, I'm super hype," said Zoe Goodrow. "But I've got to work at eight in the morning so I'm actually going to go home." 

Michigan senior student Yogish Pattel says the Wolverines showed they can win it all. 

"They still came back (from a second half deficit) because they knew, they believed in the team ..., the team the team the team!" Pattel cheered with his friends. "Pull together and we can make it happen."

Michigan has won 14 games in a row after ending Loyola's 14-game winning streak.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.