The Wolverines had a dismal shooting performance in the first half, making only 2 of 13 shots from three point range (15.4%) and shooting 9 for 31 (29.0%) overall.
Loyola loses three key seniors in Donte Ingram, Ben Richardson and Aundre Jackson.
MI coach John Beilein said the key was Wagner going after the basketball.
MI guard Duncan Robinson (22) grabs a rebound before Loyola Chicago center Cameron Krutwig (25).
Clayton Custer, Loyola. The sharpshooting guard gets mistaken for a non-player off the court, and is often the best in the game on it. When the height and might and the Wolverines' Moritz Wagner finally found its way to pluck a spree of turnovers and wreak a spree of baskets in the early evening Saturday, the NCAA tournament bracket that happily let Loyola Chicago snuggle in it for three giddy weeks finally went ahead and let it go.
Wagner hit a three from right in front of the MI bench with 6:50 left to tie it, and moments later the Wolverines were back on top 49-47 when Jordan Poole made two free throws.
"I mean, 24 and 15 - If I need to explain anything more than that, it's a problem", Simpson said. "We don't have to be the most talented team, but I think we're together". "You've got to give them credit".
"She's done for a while", Ryan Haley, assistant director of athletic communications for Loyola-Chicago, said, per Josh Peter of USA Today.
But Loyola had no answer for Wagner.
Wagner had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
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I did the first sprint and I was starting to breathe immediately. "I don't run with the ball". On another day, Carlos Vela would be lauded for his genius on LAFC's first goal .
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His 11 points and 11 rebounds in the first half were one of the only reasons MI was even within striking range at intermission.
"I had a lot of easy rebounds".
After shooting 29 percent from the field in the first half, MI hit 16-of-28 (57.1 percent) in the second half.
Krutwig was a major factor in facing up Mo Wagner and using an array of post moves and hook shots to score 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
"And I tried to do my job, tried not to foul and stay solid, build walls and grab rebounds". The Wolverines had a chance to tie, but Robinson came up way short on a triple in transition on the next possession. "I don't think you've ever seen one of our teams ever be one assist to eight turnovers". "They closed that gap of opportunity in a hurry". Their length, they're really good defensively. "All of a sudden", Beilein said, "we took off like insane", and Wagner credited "a lot more set plays" and an "offense a lot more organized". MI struggled too and, at one point, both teams had as many turnovers as field goals. MI is in the Final Four for the first time since 2013 ... A 9-0 run restored confidence and reinvigorated the Ramblers with the help of Marques Townes, their best player in the first half whose second-half injury limited Loyola.
He told Negron, "Your offseason starts when we get back".
Sister Jean has been such a positive force during this tournament that positivity rang to her team in the AlamoDome.
As corny and improbable as it might sound, this Loyola Chicago team exemplified that as well.
Time after time when speaking to groups and fans, the coach who is from the Chicago area repeatedly asked people to imagine Loyola getting back to the NCAA Tournament - and advancing.