Detroit News predictions: Michigan vs. Loyola-Chicago

The Detroit News
Michigan head coach John Beilein talks with forward Isaiah Livers during the Wolverines' practice Friday.

James Hawkins, Bob Wojnowski and Matt Charboneau of The Detroit News predict the outcome of Saturday's Final Four game between Michigan and Loyola-Chicago (6:09 p.m., TBS, WWJ 950).

James Hawkins: Both teams have scrapped out wins and leaned on their top 10 defense to get to this point. Loyola has become the darling of the Big Dance with its thrilling last-second upsets and media sensation Sister Jean. There’s no doubt every fan not wearing maize and blue will be rooting for the Ramblers to continue their magical run this weekend. While Michigan doesn’t have a nun on its sideline, it has more playmakers and a secret weapon in assistant coach Luke Yaklich, who went 7-1 against the Loyola during his time at Illinois State. Michigan, 64-60

Bob Wojnowski: This is strength on strength, with both teams defending well, and both capable of getting hot from 3-point range and scoring from almost any position. Loyola-Chicago’s Clayton Custer will be a handful, but near as we can tell, Sister Jean is not part of the actual game plan. The Wolverines will scratch and claw again, and this time, Moe Wagner will hit the big shot to win it. Michigan, 66-64

Matt Charboneau: Loyola-Chicago is more than just a good story, it’s a good basketball team. The Ramblers move the ball well on offense and can shoot the three, creating an attack that’s as efficient as any in the country. They’ll also get after you defensively. Michigan has a lot of the same traits, its defense being what has been a difference-maker this season. The Wolverines also have Moritz Wagner, a matchup problem for most teams, Loyola included. It’s enough of an advantage to keep Michigan moving on and playing for the national championship on Monday. Michigan, 70-60