Moe Wagner had an outstanding 2018 NCAA Tournament. But after advancing past the Elite Eight, he and the Michigan Wolverines faced their toughest test yet.
Sister Jean and the 11-seeded Loyola-Chicago Ramblers.
Wagner threw a friendly jab at the underdog's 98-year-old school chaplain before the two programs squared off with a shot at the national championship on the line.
"I know that she didn't have Loyola-Chicago in the Elite Eight."— Stadium (@Stadium) March 25, 2018
🔥 from Mo Wagner on Sister Jean. 😂 pic.twitter.com/Z6UGiyzDTW
Sister Jean, who had more trash-talking experience than the Wolverines' starting five combined, wasn't going to go easy on the Ramblers' Final Four opponent.
Jean's comments must've shaken Michigan before tip-off.
After the ref tipped the ball off to start the first half, it was all Ramblers.
Loyola-Chicago tied up the ballgame at 15-apiece with 5:56 to go in the first half and controlled the game.
Wagner carried the scoring load in the first half (11 points on 5-for-8 shooting, 1-for-2 from three), but his teammates went a combined 4-23 from the field.
The Ramblers coasted into the halftime break, leading 29-22, despite Wagner controlling the glass with 11 boards, giving him a first-half double-double.
The second half was a different story.
Michigan cut the Ramblers lead to six with 11:19 to go in regulation and didn't look back.
As crunch time approached, Loyola had no answer for Wagner.
The Wolverines center was in the zone, out-scoring the Ramblers 11-4 by himself during a four-minute stretch late in the second half.
From that point on, with an eight-point lead and just 3:03 to go in regulation, Loyola's season was slowly slipping away.
John Beilein's squad would close out on a 10-6 run to take down the Ramblers.
Despite the loss, Sister Jean was all-class, taking the defeat like a champ, as Loyola-Chicago's improbable tourney run had come to an end.
Wagner finished the game with 24 points and 15 rebounds, and singlehandedly catapulted his squad to the national championship game.