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Wagner’s big game sends Michigan past Louisville in NCAAs
March 19, 2017
Wagner scored a career high 26 points, made the basket that spurred Michigan’s second-half rally and capped the day with a three-pointer to give the Wolverines the lead for good as they knocked off second-seeded Louisville 73-69 to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2014. “He’s got the mentality where he wants to make the play,” said Derrick Walton Jr., who drove for Michigan’s final basket with 29 seconds left. In late February, Michigan was 19-11 and trying to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive. [...] it has won seven straight, six coming after a frightening plane accident on their way to the Big Ten tournament. Trailing 45-36 with 16:09 to play, Wagner made a layup that started a 17-6 run to give Michigan its first lead since the opening minutes of the game. When Wagner knocked down a three-pointer with 6:39 to go to break a 55-55 tie, the Wolverines did not trail again. Frank Mason III added 20 points for the top-seeded Jayhawks (30-4), who have advanced to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament in nine of coach Bill Self’s 14 seasons. At Indianapolis, Bam Adebayo had a double-double and swatted away the final shot on Sunday as Kentucky sent Wichita State to yet another second-round heartbreak, 65-62 in the South region. Justin Jackson added 15 points for the Tar Heels (29-7), including the dunk that capped a game-closing 12-0 run by the South Region’s No. 1 seed to help it survive a wild game.