The 11th seeded Loyola-Chicago Ramblers will take on the 3rd seeded Michigan Wolverines on Saturday night in the first of two Final Four games. These teams had very different Elite Eight experiences despite both advancing. Michigan played very poorly offensively but their defense excelled as they hung on to defeat the 9th seeded Florida State Seminoles 58 to 54. Their last 2 wins prove they can win in multiple ways. The 58 points scored is 41 less than the 99 they scored in the Elite Eight against Texas A&M. They are back in the final four for the first time since 2013. Loyola dominated Kansas State on both ends of the floor in their 78-62 victory. The Victory made them just the fourth 11th seed in history to play in a Final Four game. The Wildcats had not allowed a team to score more than 59 points this tournament before the Ramblers torched them for 78.

Michigan’s defense shined against Florida State. They limited them to just 31 percent shooting including 4 of 17 from behind the arc. The Seminoles were averaging 74 points per game this tournament but were limited to just 54 against the Wolverines. Michigan had 6 steals and 4 blocks on their way to forcing 15 turnovers. They were also outrebounded by the Seminoles 36 to 34. Offensively, they shot poorly finishing with 38 percent including 4 of 22 from three-point range. Charles Matthews led the team in scoring with 17 points and Moritz Wagner chipped in with 12 and 6 rebounds. The team finished with just 8 assists one game after having 21 in their blowout win over the Aggies.

The Ramblers played well on both sides of the ball against the Wildcats including shooting the ball efficiently. The team shot 57 percent from the floor including 9 of 18 from three-point range. Three players scored in double figures and were led by guard Ben Richardson who scored a career-high 23 points. He made 6 of his 7 three point attempts while also grabbing 6 rebounds to go along with 4 assists. Defensively, they held Kansas State to 34 percent shooting and just 6 of 26 from deep. They won the rebounding battle 36 to 28 and committed just 15 fouls resulting in 12 Wildcat free throws. If there was a negative for the Ramblers it is that they only forced 6 turnovers while committing 15.

Michigan is 5.5 point favorites in this game which is nothing new for the Ramblers as they have been underdogs every game so far in this tournament. Both teams are on long win streaks as the Wolverines have won 13 in a row and Loyola has won 14. Loyola is seeking to become the first 11 seed to ever play in the Championship game. Michigan is the best defensive team left in the tournament and made it this far despite scoring more than 65 points just once in the first four games.

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