Michigan’s defense made Loyola-Chicago uncomfortable in the early going of their Final Four matchup on Saturday night in San Antonio.
Loyola-Chicago went 7 minutes, 40 seconds without a field goal during a stretch early in the first half of the NCAA Tournament matchup. The 11th-seeded Ramblers were 2 of 12 to start the game at the Alamodome. Michigan used its strong defense start to build a 12-6 lead.
The Wolverines entered the Final Four with the eighth-best scoring defense in the country, allowing teams to an average of 63.1 points per game. Loyola-Chicago’s incredibly balanced offense entered the Final Four with a team shooting percentage of 50.9.
Michigan coach John Beilein called the Ramblers offense “a thing of beauty” during a Friday press conference.
“I’ve been thinking the last few days. This thing is a thing of beauty,” Beilein told reporters. “This is not Princeton in any way, but they cut on and off — they cut without the ball. They dribble with the ball. They post. I think having the great, not good, but great passing center has really had a great impact on them. And they’ve got shooters everywhere.
“Now, people have great offenses. Do they have people who can all shoot and all see the floor? That’s the real thing here. Their plays are pretty. But their concepts, the way the team runs their concepts is a thing of beauty.”
Follow along with live updates for the game between Michigan and Loyola-Chicago here.