Michigan couldn't break through the seven to nine point barrier for the first 10 minutes of the second half, but Moritz Wagner led the way and Zak Irvin hit a couple of big jump shots as the Wolverines beat the second-seeded Cardinals 73-69.
With the win, they'll move on to the Sweet 16 next week in Kansas City where they'll square off against the winner of Oregon and Rhode Island.
With a four-point lead and just over a minute left on the clock, the Wolverines decided to dribble down the shot clock, getting the ball to Wagner who used a head fake to get by his defender and to the rim to stretch the lead to six. Deng Adel was able to get a quick score for Louisville, who got a quick steal out of a timeout to cut the lead to two on a bucket from Donovan Mitchell. Derrick Walton Jr., who struggled from the floor most of the day, was able to hit the biggest shot of the day by getting to the bucket and finishing with 23 seconds on the clock. Mitchell answered again with 17 seconds on the clock, but D.J. Wilson hit four free throws down the stretch to ice the game.
Wager finished with a career-high 26 points, Wilson had 17 and Irvin 11.
Michigan was outrebounded 37-30, but they kept things square in the second half. Louisville dominated in the paint area for the game's first 30 minutes, but they finished with just a 44-40 advantage.
Wolverines seizing control
Moritz Wagner and Derrick Walton Jr. each hit from beyond the arc and Michigan stretched its lead to six at one point before Louisville was able to get a much-needed bucket from Deng Adel.
The Wolverines lead the Cardinals 63-59 with 3:36 left to play.
Wagner is leading the way with 22 points and will be heading to the line when the teams come back from the timeout.
One good shot deserves another
Michigan has come all the way back after taking a brief lead and they are tied with Louisville 55-55 with 6:59 left to play in regulation.
D.J. Wilson hit the first 3-pointer of the second half for Michigan from the top of the key to cut the Cardinals lead to one at 50-49. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman hit two free throws, and after the Cardinals answered, Wilson was able to get to the basket to give Michigan a lead at 55-53. Tony Hicks tied the game for the Cardinals by getting into the lane and finishing with a floater.
That was some solid play for the Wolverines after today's star Moritz Wagner had to head to the bench for a few minutes after picking up his third foul. I expect he'll be back in the game following the timeout.
Here come the Wolverines
Zak Irvin has started to find his stroke and could be the Robin to Moritz Wagner's Batman right now as the Michigan has cut the Louisville lead to 49-46 with 11:23 left to play.
Amazingly, the Wolverines have yet to attempt a 3-pointer in the second half after going 3-for-11 from beyond the arc in the first half.
Wolverines keeping it close
Moritz Wagner continues to be the leader for Michigan today, making a steal on the defensive end and then leading the break and finding Zak Irvin for a layup that has cut the Louisville lead to 47-42 with 13:23 remaining.
The activity on the defensive end has picked up for the Wolverines, but rebounding continues to be a problem. Louisville has 12 offensive rebounds and 16 second chance points.
Wagner stays hot out of the break
Moritz Wagner has picked up where he left off in the first half, scoring four of Michigan's first six points in the second half. The problem is the Wolverines defense, which has given up an easy basket and an open 3-pointer out of the break.
With 17:53 remaining, Louisville leads 41-34.
Louisville grabs the lead with spurt before the half
The blistering pace that Michigan and Oklahoma State played with on Friday afternoon is long gone. What we have today between the Wolverines and Cardinals is nothing short of a good, old-fashioned slobberknocker.
After an 8-0 run over the last two minutes of the first half that was aided by highly questionable foul calls by the officials, Louisville leads 36-28 at the break.
The Cardinals length gave the Wolverines problems in the first half. It wreaked havoc in the lane when Derrick Walton Jr. would drive and try to find his shooters, and it gave Louisville a big boost on offense, where it put up 18 points in the paint.
Mangok Mathiang scored seven early points for the Cardinals, but he was on the bench for most of the first half with two fouls.
Moritz Wagner came on late in the first half, leading Michigan in scoring with nine points. D.J. Wilson carried the load early in the game, scoring the first six points from the floor for the Wolverines.
Michigan was just 3-for-11 from beyond the arc and was outrebounded 24-16 in the first half. Those numbers are going to have to improves if the maize and blue want to advance to the Sweet 16.
Wilson, Wagner carrying Wolverines
While driving and kicking the ball out is still an issue for the Wolverines, D.J. Wilson and Moritz Wagner are proving to be a problem for Louisville. The two Michigan bigs have accounted for 12 points in the first half and are the reason the maize and blue have kept this game close.
The defense has also started to pick up as the Wolverines have forced five Cardinals turnovers, compared to just committing two of their own in the first half.
With 3:26 left to play in the first half, Louisville leads 25-22.
Michigan hanging around despite struggles
The length of Louisville is really proving to be a problem for the Wolverines on both sides of the ball. The Cardinals are contesting every Michigan shot and Derrick Walton Jr. is having trouble creating opportunities for his teammates.
Mangok Mathiang has seven points, but he picked up his second foul and had to take a seat on the bench.
At the 7:37 mark of the first half, the Cardinals lead 21-17.
Cardinals getting it done in the paint
The Wolverines are struggling to protect the basket as Louisville has 10 points in the paint in the early going. Zak Irvin and Mark Donnal have each hit from beyond the arc to help Michigan keep pace.
At the 11:49 mark of the first half, the Cardinals lead 17-14.
Something to watch: Michigan has already been called for five fouls. Two more puts Louisville in the penalty for the remainder of the first half.
Louisville out to an early lead
D.J. Wilson got things started by forcing a turnover on Louisville's opening possession before coming back down the floor and hitting a mid-range jumper to get Michigan on the board. Louisville answered with the next five as the Wolverines missed their next three shot attempts. Wilson has scored all six of Michigan's points.
At the 15:27 mark of the first half, the Cardinals lead 9-6.
Wolverines brace for attacking Cardinals
The coaches are the same but the players have changed as Michigan squares off with Louisville in a rematch of the 2013 NCAA national championship game.
John Beilein will be looking for a measure of revenge against Rick Pitino, whose Cardinals took down the Trey Burke-led Wolverines four years ago in Atlanta on the sport's biggest stage.
Michigan comes in on a seven-game winning streak after surviving a scare from Oklahoma State in the first round on Friday afternoon. They'll have to be at their best on both sides of the ball Sunday when they take on the Cardinals, whose length and rebounding prowess likely will make second-chance points very valuable for the Wolverines.
Louisville likes to run a press defense, and that could work in Michigan's favor. The Wolverines have the ball handlers to handle the press and get easy buckets in transition.
Sunday’s game should not be as high-scoring as Friday's shootout, but it's shaping up to be one of the best matchups of the tournament's first weekend.
MICHIGAN VS. LOUISVILLE
When: Sunday, 12:10 p.m.
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
TV / radio: CBS / WWJ 950
Seeds / records: No. 7 Michigan 25-11, No. 2 Louisville 25-8
At stake: Spot in Midwest Region semifinals against Oregon-Rhode Island winner.