Michigan basketball went on magical run this season, winning 14 games in a row before losing to Villanova in the National Championship Game on Monday night in San Antonio.
Michigan big man Moe Wagner was a huge part of the team’s success, as he provided solid defense to go along with his scoring and passing ability on offense. While disappointed after coming one win short of winning it all, Wagner told ESPN after the game that the Wolverines have to keep their heads up and move forward.
“I mean, that has been our thing all year: You can’t put your head down,” Wagner said. “The way we fought through adversity all year long, the way we are connected, it’s just unfair to leave your head down and quit.”
Wagner also discussed some of the details of the game and gave credit to Villanova.
“They’re a really good team. You got to give them credit,” Wagner said. “They aren’t the No. 1 team in the country for no reason. The way they made shots, the way they guarded us, really, was troubling. So and they’re really good, and we got beat by a good team.”
“It’s frustrating,” he added. “I mean, you go in the locker room with a 9-point deficit, and we were actually motivated by that and encouraged because we just didn’t make shots and we’re all confident in our shooting ability, I think each of us. So we actually had a good feeling coming out. It wasn’t enough today, and if they hit shots like that, they’re really tough to guard.”
Despite coming up short of winning a national title, Wagner said that he will never forget the ride this team went on to get to the title game.
“At the end of the day, the guys in the locker room, and also the ones off the floor, the job they have done all year is something that I will never forget and always carry with me,” Wagner said.
Wagner played 33 minutes in the loss to Villanova, scoring 16 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. On the season, Wagner averaged 14.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1 steal per game while shooting 52.8 percent from the field.