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Michigan forward Moritz Wagner has averaged 8.5 points in his first two NCAA Tournament games.

Michigan F Moritz Wagner will find his rhythm in Sweet 16

Rachel Lenzi

During the week, Land of 10 reporters following the Wolverines answer questions on the minds of Michigan fans. Submit a question or suggest a topic by sending a tweet here to Rachel Lenzi or here to Kevin Goheen. Check back Monday through Friday as we answer the Michigan Question of the Day. Go here to see our previous answers.

Moritz Wagner is having a less-than stellar start to the NCAA Tournament, and he’ll come around. He has a prime opportunity to rediscover his groove Thursday when the Wolverines face Texas A&M in a Sweet 16 game in Los Angeles.

As the Wolverines continue to win, there’s one thing that people can’t lose sight of. Wagner is the focal point of the Michigan men’s basketball team, but the Wolverines aren’t solely about Wagner.

Wagner has averaged 8.5 points in his first two NCAA Tournament games, but scored only 5 in Michigan’s opening game.

Still, here’s what’s impressive about the Wolverines’ first two tournament games: Michigan’s supporting cast has elevated itself, even with Wagner in a bit of a slump.

It pulled itself out of a rut against Montana. Charles Matthews scored 20 points to help the Wolverines earn a 61-47 win Thursday against Montana.

The Wolverines broke away in the final seconds of the 64-63 win Saturday against Houston, courtesy of Jordan Poole’s 3-pointer that is bound to be on this year’s edition of CBS’ “One Shining Moment.” Wagner scored only 2 points in the first half but finished with 12 points against the Cougars. He was one of four players to score in double figures for Michigan, along with Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman (12 points), Matthews (11 points) and Duncan Robinson (11 points).

That’s the definition of a team: When one player falters, either someone else or a few others rally to compensate.

That’s what has taken Michigan to the Sweet 16. That collective effort will be what carries them through the NCAA Tournament, however far they go.

To answer the second question: No word yet on when Wagner’s mother will return stateside to see her son play for Michigan. She took in the Wolverines’ Big Ten Tournament run in early March in New York City, and was at the Big Ten Tournament in 2017 in Washington, D.C.

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