tiptrot.com July 17, 2018

Sorry, Sister Jean: Michigan favored over Loyola-Chicago in Final Four

26 March 2018, 12:57 | Susie Olson

K-State ends postseason run after losing to Loyola in Elite Eight matchup

Final Four 2018: Michigan to play Loyola Chicago after beating Florida State

Well, Cinderella is going to keep dancing a little bit longer in this year's NCAA Tournament.

The nation's hottest team is in the Final Four, and Loyola's dominating 78-62 South Regional final win over Kansas State on Saturday night was the most convincing evidence yet that the Ramblers belong.

Loyola, which shot a scorching 57.4 percent from the floor, expanded its advantage to 20-plus points barely six minutes into the second half, when the Ramblers missed just one of their first 10 shots. They are in fact only the fourth No. 11 seed to make it this far in the tournament.

With two minutes to go in the elite eight the MI bench began to celebrate their victory over Florida State to punch their ticket to San Antonio for the Final Four.

The Wildcats entered Saturday's matchup having limited their past three opponents to 26.4 percent from 3-point range, including holding Kentucky to 3 of 12 in Thursday's Sweet Sixteen win. Those games can be forgotten now after he was 6-for-7 from downtown and had a career-high 23 points. They've proven with four straight wins over single-digit seeds that they are very much for real.

The Ramblers knocked off No. 9 seed Kansas State in the Elite Eight on Saturday.

Loyola opened the game making eight of its first 10 shots and started the second half 9-for-10. On the season, Loyola-Chicago is averaging 72.0 ppg on 50.9% shooting from the field. On the 15 turnovers that they had, Kansas State turned those into 28 points.

"I think we left no doubts out there that we deserve to be in the Final Four", said center Cameron Krutwig. They play balanced basketball, which is fun to watch.

They have, and the Ramblers are getting attention for what they're doing on the court - not just for the lovable Sister Jean. It's Michigan's first Final Four appearance since 2013. On the other side of the match up MI scored 58 points.

MI got off to a slow start against Florida State Saturday night, but their defense helped them secure a 58-54 win over the Seminoles.

The lines for the Wolverines' last three NCAA Tournament wins - Houston, Texas A&M and Florida State - all closed around 4/4.5 points. There is no doubting the Loyola-Chicago deserves to be in this game, however, I think the Ramblers are going to have a bit of trouble on the offensive end against the Wolverines in this one and as I think John Beilein will have a solid game plan with a week of preparation for the MI offense, I'm taking MI to cover this spread. Both of these teams have great defenses, but we will get to a breakdown of this game later in the week.

ATLANTA (AP) - Loyola-Chicago is more than just the feel-good story of the NCAA Tournament.

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