|12:10 ET, Mar 19, 2017
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Wagner's big game sends Michigan past Louisville in NCAAs
By MICHAEL MAROT
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Moe Wagner gritted his teeth, pumped his fist and stuck out his mouthpiece to the crowd's delight Sunday.
A few minutes later, the tough German took a couple more bows - first on the baseline in front of Michigan's bench, then with the rest of his teammates near midcourt.
Suddenly, the often overlooked 6-foot-11 forward was the well-deserved center of attention.
Wagner scored a career high 26 points, made the basket that spurred Michigan's furious second-half rally and capped the day with a 3-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 in for Michigan's final basket with 29 seconds left. "He just makes the right play at all times. He has the calls to make the big plays, so we feed off him because he's not afraid of anything."
Wagner's fearlessness has played a big part in Michigan's improbable late-season run.
In late February, Michigan was just 19-11 and trying to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive. Since then, it has won seven straight, six coming after a frightening plane accident on their way to the Big Ten Tournament.
So it seemed only fitting that the emotion, poise and momentum Michigan mustered over these past few weeks would help them fight their way off the ropes. Again.
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 3-pointer with 6:39 to go to break a 55-55 tie, the Wolverines never trailed again.
Afterward, Michigan's players celebrated by jumping around near midcourt, then walking next to the pep band and pumping their fists toward yellow-clad fans as the school fight song boomed.
Once inside the locker room, coach John Beilein playfully squirted his players with a water gun.
"A little damp right now," Beilein said as the postgame news conference began. "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."
At least not in Indianapolis.
Despite going 3-3 in their previous six games, Louisville (25-9) came into Sunday as a small favorite.
Coach Rick Pitino was 3-1 in head-to-head matchups with Beilein and the Cardinals had made it to the Sweet 16 in each of their previous four NCAA appearances.
But after sitting out last year's tourney because of a school-imposed postseason ban, the Cardinals' hopes were doused largely because of Wagner's ability to repeatedly get to the basket. That was all it took in a matchup between the two teams that played for a national championship four years ago.
"We made some poor switches," 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.".
Not much went as expected, though.
Louisville's pressure defense forced only six Michigan turnovers and the Cardinals wound up just 5 of 20 on 3-pointers.
Walton had 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists despite going 3 of 13 from the field. And two days after making a school record 16 3-pointers in a tourney game, the Wolverines were just 6 of 17.
Instead, they pounded the ball inside to D.J. Wilson, who had 17 points, three blocks and two steals, and the gritty Wagner, who spent most of Friday's first-round win in foul trouble.
On Sunday, he used his fresh legs to do the dirty work so well that the usually reliable, quiet sophomore screamed in celebration.
"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."
Louisville: The Cardinals head home empty-handed and with a 12-1 record as a No. 2 seed.
Michigan: The Wolverines' magical ride continues. They've been winning games in different ways and now they head to Kansas City, Missouri, to see if they can keep rolling.
Shortly after the game started, Arkansas State announced it had hired one of Pitino's assistants, Mike Balado, as its next head coach. Balado spent the game on the bench, screaming and moving as he usually does.
Pitino knew this day might be coming when he said Thursday that he believed Balado was ready to become a head coach. He probably didn't envision it happening as the Cardinals were playing to keep their season alive.
Afterward, Balado sat quietly in the locker room with red eyes.
"Obviously very sad right now for our guys," he said. "I thought we had a very good season. My heart feels for these kids. I'm going to miss them like crazy. I hope they get back to a national championship game."
The Wolverines will face the winner of the Oregon-Rhode Island game on Thursday.
More AP college basketball: www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25 .
Updated March 19, 2017
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox left fielder, who had five hits in the Sox win in Baltimore.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts after he provided the big hit in the 10th inning driving in 3 runs as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 4-1. Mookie talks about playing behind a pitcher like Chris Sale, and the amount of strikeouts from Sale lightens his work in the outfield.
In the final hour Christian talks about the Celtics and their poor performance and how they can not let a player like Rondo beat them. The Aaron Hernandez saga in Christian's opinion is similar to a TV show. In the late night low light a mystic has predicted that WW3 will be starting in a few weeks and Christian wonders how do you become a mystic and can you make a career out of it.
Hour 4. The guys think the Globe was looking for more with Brady, possibly a Trump connection. Crazy Al joins the show multiple times.
Hour 3. Gerry and Mut defend Brady while Kirk thinks it’s a little suspicious. Callers weigh in on the Tome Brady piece. Climate marches are taking place across the country.
Hour 2. Gerry, Kirk, and Mut discuss the Celtics win against the Bulls and continue their conversation about Brady and Best Buddies. Headlines with Kirk features a new accusation against Sean Hannity.
HOUR - The last hour of the show was all over the place as the guys did a dry rehearsal of a wacky video they're supposed to record next week. They also look at the biggest games in the NFL next year, and Fauria rips off "Keefer Madness" with his "Fauria Euphoria."
HOUR 3 - The guys get into expectations for the Celtics who are down 2-0 to the Rajon Rondo-less Bulls. They also wonder how much the Celtics are listening to Brad Stevens. Christian is excited for Caitlyn Jenner's nude spread.
HOUR 2 - News breaks that Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely with a fractured thumb. Rondo was dynamite in game 2. The guys discuss whether or not the Celtics now stand a chance.
Last two hours focused on our winter teams as they struggle in their first round match-ups.
Finish out the week on Freestyle Friday talking mostly about the Aaron Hernandez suicide and how it will affect his family in hour #2.
Hour One of freestyle Friday focused mostly on the Celtics and their matchup vs the now Rondo-less Bulls.
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ben sits down with Diego Fagundez to talk about Diego's rise through the ranks of the academy, his accomplishment of reaching 10,000 minutes as a homegrown player, and how he has evolved his game.
Rich and Ben discuss the Celtics poor performances in Games 1 & 2, how we have to change our predictions, Rajon Rondo's thumb injury, and who is to blame for the terrible start to the series.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap the entire week of K&C shows in one mega Friday edition
Danny talks about the Red Sox and Orioles game and the fireworks in the 8th inning when Matt Barnes threw at Manny Machado. Pedroia was shown talking to Machado saying he wouldn't have thrown at his head and Danny wants to know how bad does this make Pedroia look throwing a teammate under the bus.More from this show
Michele McPhee joins Kirk, Gerry, and Alex to talk about Hernandez’s suicide and the accusation that she may have contributed to his suicide.More from this show
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.More from this show
Hour 3. A game by game breakdown of the Patriots schedule. Kirk has the Patriots losing 12 games. There is breaking news that Hernandez left a note for his gay jailhouse lover.More from this show
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.More from this show