With 1 minute 39 seconds left in Loyola Chicago's sobering 69-57 national semifinal loss to MI, a security crew wheeled the 98-year-old nun away from her courtside seat and into the tunnel where her Ramblers would soon leave the court and force the men's NCAA tournament to conclude without its most unexpected and well-timed delight.
MI will face the victor of Saturday's second semifinal between Villanova and Kansas in the national championship game Monday.
The Wolverines earned a trip to the championship game after rallying in the second half.
While Loyola and MI weren't picked by most to get to the Final Four, it was more widely anticipated that No. 1 seeds Villanova and Kansas would. It was Michigan's first lead since 15-13. Included in that was a 4-for-5 night from beyond the arc, and in total seven Villanova players made at least one three-pointer. And they hit some shots. He was a difference maker in Michigan's Sweet 16 win over Texas A&M, scoring 11 points, dishing out five assists and snatching six steals. "And then they didn't get too many second-half chances". Despite several pushes and prayers, the Ramblers just couldn't pull this one off.
"The second half, we ran a little more set plays just because we were in front our bench, so it's easy to call". "But I heard I broke Coach Raftery's glasses - I feel bad for that". We just made every shot.
After a slow first-half, the stars were out for MI as star forward Moritz Wagner recorded 24 points and 15 rebounds. MI freshman Jordan Poole, he of the buzzer-beater to beat Houston and seven points on Saturday, also said hello. "Grab offensive rebounds and get second-shot opportunities". The ball sailed through the rim and paused briefly to graze the net on the way down.
Charles Matthews added 17 points for MI, which won despite making only 42.4 percent from the field and 7-of-28 on 3-point attempts.
The versatile big man from Berlin was having difficulty defending Loyola freshman Cameron Krutwig in the post.
Sister Jean leaves early during the Final Four game
Wagner, Charles Matthews and the Wolverines erased a 10-point second-half deficit and MI beat the Ramblers 69-57 Saturday night in the Final Four.
Michigan, who snapped Loyola's 14-game winning streak, has now won 14 straight.
MI basketball ran into the national darling and a brutal shooting slump Saturday in Texas.
Loyola-Chicago's lovable 98-year-old team chaplain has been the face of the Ramblers and their magical NCAA Tournament run that came to an end on Saturday night.
Loyola-Chicago was just 20 minutes away from becoming the first ever No. 11 seed to play in the National Championship game. He was completely ready for the Final Four game.
Loyola coach Porter Moster had the same message to his team during its run through the NCAA Tournament.
"The more you invest in something the harder it is to give up". They don't want to wake up from this dream. And they have so much to be proud of. They changed a community. "They changed the perception of when you say Loyola-Chicago, for men's basketball, they changed that". "And I'll tell you this: When you're done as a young player, you know it's not as much what you left behind; it's what you impacted".
The national anthem was performed by a group of four students - one from each school playing in the Final Four.