NCAA Basketball

Michigan surge continues with upset of Louisville

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- INDIANAPOLIS -- Michigan roommates Moritz Wagner and D.J. Wilson have quite different backgrounds, but the Wolverines' starting forwards provided a unified, winning front on Sunday in NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional second-round action.

Wagner, a sophomore from Berlin, Germany, scored a career-high 26 points, and No. 7 seed Michigan rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to stun No. 2 seed Louisville 73-69 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Wilson, who is from Sacramento, Calif., scored 17 points, including four consecutive free throws during the final 17.3 seconds to send the Big Ten tournament champions into a Sweet 16 date Thursday night against No. 3 Oregon in Kansas City.

The victory was a bit of revenge for the Wolverines (26-11), who were beaten 82-76 by Louisville in the 2013 NCAA Tournament championship.

Michigan, which also got 11 points from Zak Irvin and 10 from Derrick Walton Jr., shot 63 percent in the second half (17 of 27).

"I feed off Mo," said Wilson, who scored 11 second-half points. "It helps make me confident knowing that everyone wants me shooting free throws late in the game."

Wagner said the Wolverines were well prepared for Louisville's defensive challenges.

"We have been working on their switching defenses," said Wagner, who was 11 of 14 from the field. "I was able to work well in the post. I really just let the game come to me."

Donovan Mitchell led Louisville with 19 points, and Deng Adel added 16 for the Cardinals, who finished 25-9.

Michigan used an 8-2 burst that included 3-pointers from Wagner and Walton, and a Wagner layup to lead 63-57 with 4:36 to play before a Mitchell basket got Louisville back within 63-59.

A Mangok Mathiang layup with 15:58 remaining extended Louisville's lead to 45-36, but Michigan countered with a 10-4 run to close within 49-46 with 11:23 on the clock.

Louisville closed the first half on an 8-0 run to seize a 36-28 lead through 20 minutes. Mitchell and Adel each hit a 3-pointer, and Adel sank two free throws with 9.1 seconds remaining to create the Cardinals' eight-point halftime cushion.

Michigan coach John Beilein said the way his team reacted to the final minute of the first half may have been the game's key.

"That was the defining moment," Beilein said. "A younger, less mature team may have let that rattle them.

"The way we have been shooting 3-pointers lately, people have been sticking with our shooters, and that opened things up for Moritz and D.J. to operate in the post."

Michigan made only six 3-pointers in 17 attempts after making 16 in Friday's first-round victory against Oklahoma State but compensated with roommates Wagner and Wilson combining for 43 points on 17 of 27 field-goal shooting.

"We simply made too many poor switches on defense in the second half," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "They are a right-hand dominant team, and we gave them the right hand too often. Moving forward, we have to get better defensively."

Cardinals center Mathiang said Michigan is difficult to guard.

"They have been shooting the 3s so well that we had to get out on their shooters," Mathiang said. "We we did a poor job with our switching, Wagner got loose in the post."

Adel had 10 first-half points, and Mitchell added eight. Louisville shot 41.9 percent (13 of 31) and outrebounded Michigan in the opening half, 24-16, including 10 offensive rebounds.

Wagner had nine first-half points for the Wolverines, who shot only 36.7 percent (11 of 30) during the first 20 minutes.

NOTES: Louisville advanced Friday with a 78-63 victory against No. 15 Jacksonville State, getting 18 points and five rebounds from C Mathiang Mangok ... The Cardinals fell short of their fifth Sweet Sixteen in the past six seasons ... A No. 2 seed has been good to Louisville, winning NCAA championships from that slot in 1980 and again in 1986 ... The Cardinals dropped to 36-9 in neutral site contests during the past five seasons ... Michigan advanced with a 92-91 first-round victory against Oklahoma State, getting 26 points, 11 assists and five rebounds from G Derrick Walton Jr. ... The Wolverines have won seven consecutive games, including 4-0 in winning the program's second Big Ten tournament championship ... Michigan has won at least one NCAA Tournament game in six of its seven appearances for coach John Beilein ... The Wolverines came in averaging a nation-best 9.2 turnovers per game.

Updated March 20, 2017

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