So just how good was Moe Wagner’s Final Four performance for Michigan against Loyola-Chicago on Saturday night? Wagner joined a club with just two other members: Hall of Fame players Hakeem Olajuwon and Larry Bird.
Wagner, the Wolverines’ 6-foot-11 star, scored 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as Michigan ousted Loyola-Chicago for a spot in the National Championship Game. Olajuwon (in 1983 for Houston) and Bird (in 1979 for Indiana State) are the only other college basketball players in the last 40 years to score at least 20 points and pull down at least 15 rebounds in a national semifinal game, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
Moe Wagner joins exclusive club in Final Four win
In leading the Wolverines to victory, Moritz Wagner became the 3rd player in the last 40 years with at least 20 points and 15 rebounds in a National Semifinal game, joining Akeem Olajuwon (1983) and Larry Bird (1979). pic.twitter.com/GQkzCN53gx
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 1, 2018
Wagner had a double-double by halftime and scored half of Michigan’s points in a sluggish first half. He finished 10 for 16 from the field, and was responsible for 3 of Michigan’s 7 made 3-pointers. The 15 rebounds were a career high for the German-born junior.
“He’s a special kid,” Michigan coach John Beilein said of Wagner after the win. “I’ve been coaching a long time, and he’s going to go in a special category with a few other guys who are probably wondering who they are.”