Florida State rally falls short, MI advances to Final Four

Then again, the Wolverines didn't light it up against Florida State's defense either, going 4 for 22 on 3-pointers.

Hamilton seemed annoyed and offended by the line of questioning, and almost walked away from the interview entirely.

The first half of the Final Four is set, as MI and Loyola-Chicago planted their flag in the sport's most prestigious weekend, dispatching of Florida State and Kansas State in the Elite Eight.

Extending its winning streak to 14 games, Loyola enjoyed strong shooting against a Kansas State team which relied on strong defense in the NCAA Tournament.

In response, Florida State Coach Leonard Hamilton spun around and flung his hands in the air - the same response every Florida State fan watching undoubtedly had on multiple occasions throughout the game.

Florida State was an opponent MI hasn't seen too much of, able to play as many as 12 guys in a game. Charles Matthews scored 17 points and MI earned its first Final Four berth since 2013 with a 58-54 victory over Florida State.

This Final Four battle features two outstanding defensive teams that are both playing elite defense right now.

The Ramblers tied the 1986 LSU Tigers, 2006 George Mason and 2011 VCU Rams as the worst-seeded team to advance to the Final Four.

Now they'll face the most improbable opponent of all - 11th-seeded Loyola-Chicago in San Antonio. The Ramblers beat Cincinnati, which had three black starters, in the national championship game. But in the end, Michigan's run early in the second half gave the Wolverines some breathing room as FSU struggled to score. Two nights after shooting lights out from three, MI struggled from long distance, hitting just 4-of-22 attempts. Loyola has a 10-man rotation, and a different player has led the Ramblers in scoring in each NCAA tournament game.

Time to punch the first two tickets to the Final Four.

"When you're a 10-year-old boy, you dream about this moment - going to the Final Four", sophomore center Jon Teske said. First up, a no. 9 seed or an 11.

The 2018 NCAA tournament will be over just eight days from now.

Ninth seeded Kansas State is a slight betting favorite over No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago in the South regional final in Atlanta.

Using a 9-0 run late in the game, Wolverines edged the Seminoles at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

"She's got a lot of mojo going through that team". Quite a feat considering three of those teams faced at least some bubble uncertainty in the final month of the regular season.

  • Steve Townsend