Though Michigan has the legs and the hot shooting to make this a rough contest for the Cardinal, you can expect the Louisville squad to slow the pace of the game dwn and look to bruise and bang with Michigan. A three-pointer at the buzzer allowed them to cover the spread, but that ended up being the only threat MI faced in the waning moments.
Norbertas Giga scored 30 points for 15th-seeded Jacksonville State (20-15), which was one of a record five teams making their first tourney appearance.
MI enters Midwest Region play having won 12 of its last 14 games. In the NCAA tournament's first round, the Wolverines then beat No. 10 Oklahoma State in a barnburner of a game, 92-91, and suddenly they appeared set to run deep into this year's Big Dance.
To put it into perspective, Louisville had 14 points in the paint with under 10 minutes left while MI had 16 total points. North Carolina and Duke are the only ACC teams still competing for the title. Struggling against N.C. State and guard Cat Barber in the 2015 Sweet 16, short of players especially in the backcourt, Pitino got 14 points and 3 assists from freshman point guard Quentin Snider, who played double-figure minutes only four times in 12 ACC games before senior guard Chris Jones' dismissal.
The Cardinals led 5-2 and 7-4 before it was 9-6 at the first timeout. The joyous celebration will continue for at least a couple days as MI won't be in action again until either Thursday or Friday against the victor of the Oregon-Rhode Island game later tonight.
Now entering the Sweet 16, MI rolls on. Wagner helped spark Michigan's second-half run, hitting a big 3-pointer to give MI a three-point lead with 6:44 left, then scoring on a nifty move in the lane for two a couple minutes later.
Kevin Scott scored 19 points to lead the 16th-seeded Tigers (23-12), the champions of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Michigan Faces Louisville in RD 2 Action / Into boxing as well?
"He surprised me once, my sophomore year, in the Elite Eight against Michigan State", Levitch told SN. Donovan Mitchell went at Derrick Walton Jr. after he hit his first shot.
Rick Pitino encouraged John Beilein not to waste much practice time Saturday trying to solve Louisville's pressure defense.
The Michigan Wolverines have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in the past couple weeks.