Loyola Chicago, Michigan heading to Final Four

Final Four Kansas split FTR.jpg

After an impressive run in the NCAA Tournament, The Florida State Seminoles men's basketball team will not be heading to the Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.

Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton might be the only person in the world who thinks his team did not need to foul in the final seconds of Saturday's 58-54 loss to MI in the Elite Eight.

The Wolverines went ahead 24-23 on two free throws by Matthews, but FSU responded with a 3-point basket by Cofer for a 26-24 lead with 4:40 to play before intermission.

As in the semifinal Thursday against Texas A&M, Michigan, intent on going to the Final Four as it last did in 2013, took control in the opening minutes, moving to a 10-4 lead.

"We take pride in our defense, so we believe in ourselves", said MI guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rakhman, who scored nine points on 3-of-9 shooting.

However, this MI team is unlike any other John Beilein has had.

MI coach John Beilein, right, talks with Moritz Wagner, left, and Isaiah Livers during the first half of the team's NCAA men's college basketball tournament regional final against Florida State on Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Los Angeles. That spurt put UM up 38-28 about midway through the second half. Florida State had a lot more mismatches for Loyola-Chicago.

Loyola will play in its first Final Four since 1963, when the Ramblers won their only championship.

LEONARD HAMILTON: Well, I believe it was about - I don't remember exactly, but I want to say that it was a four-point game. They are among a whole bunch of considerations Hamilton had to juggle while making these decisions quickly in real time.

Hamilton, who has a base salary of $2.3 million, has already earned $775,000 from Florida State's first Elite Eight appearance since 1993.

MI got into a close one against the Seminoles, clinging to a 55-52 lead with 1:14 remaining.

MI has a 27-26 lead on Florida State at halftime of a tight West Region final.

Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton could go over $1 million in bonuses earned from the Seminoles' NCAA Tournament run if his team can beat MI in the West Region final on Saturday night.

The third-seeded Wolverines withstood their own poor shooting to beat Florida State 58-54 and win the West Region title on Saturday night for their 13th straight victory. After winning the Big Ten tournament, MI survived a rough opening weekend in Wichita before earning back-to-back wins in Los Angeles.

The crowd, loaded with MI alumni who live in southern California, joyously began to chant, "Let's go, Blue". Beilein predicted a major advantage for his team, and he was proven correct.

Matthews usually was a complementary scorer during the Big Ten season, but he has stepped into a starring role in the Tournament with three double-digit performances.

Michigan's road to San Antonio was smooth and paved in maize - the Wolverines didn't face a team seeded higher than sixth.

Wagner picked up his fourth foul with 6:43 to go and headed to the bench, but Florida State could never get closer than three.

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