INDIANAPOLIS — Moe Wagner tallied a career-high 26 points as seventh-seeded Michigan used a strong second-half rally to beat second-seeded Louisville 73-69 on Sunday in its NCAA Tournament second round game.
Wagner finished the game shooting 11-of-14 from the floor to help the Wolverines (26-11) rally from a halftime eight-point deficit to advance into the Sweet 16.
“We always believed in ourselves,” Wagner said. “I just said to Coach B, we only shot six 3s today and we won. So it’s awesome.
“We played gritty basketball, and I think we can be proud of that.”
D.J. Wilson added 17 points and three blocks, while Zak Irvin finished with 11 points and Derrick Walton Jr. ended with 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Michigan, which has won seven straight, including four wins in four days at the Big Ten Conference Tournament.
“A little damp right now,” said coach John Beilein, who after the game joined his players in a playful water gun squirting session
“But our guys, we started a tradition of taking a shower, I guess, without going into the shower after good wins. It’s not stopping.”
Donovan Mitchell scored 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists to lead Louisville, which ended the first half with an 8-0 run to take a 36-28 lead at halftime.
“We made some poor switches,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. “Probably the weakness of our team this year has been our defense.
“Our offense in the last ten days or two weeks, we’ve gotten significantly better because we worked inside to out.”
Deng Adel added 16 points and five boards, while Mangok Mathiang ended with 13 points for the Cardinals (25-9), which had made the Sweet 16 in its last four NCAA Tournament appearances.
With the win, Michigan has secured a trip to the Midwest Regional in Kansas City, Missouri, for the first time since 2014.