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Michigan earns trip to Final Four after grinding out win over Florida State

It wasn’t pretty early, but defense got Michigan another step closer to a championship.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional-Michigan vs Florida State Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

John Beilein’s 2017-18 Michigan Wolverines are going to the Final Four in San Antonio.

Their latest win on their mission to win it all came in Los Angeles on Saturday night against the ninth-seeded Florida State Seminoles by a score of 58-54.

Charles Matthews continued his tournament hot streak and led the Wolverines with 17 points. Moe Wagner would chip in with 12 of his own in the victory.

The Wolverines were intimidated early by FSU’s speed and athleticism, namely on the defensive end of the floor where most shots underneath were sent emphatically into the stands. However, Michigan brought its own elite defense and it kept them in the game throughout cold shooting and they would take a one-point lead into the locker room at 27-26.

Much of their struggles early manifested themselves in the form of a poor half from Wagner, who was clearly frustrated and mentally taken out of the game.

They would come roaring out of the locker room in the second half, pushing their lead up to 10 points before FSU used a run of its own to get back into the contest. Michigan would lad 40-36 at the 10 minute mark of the second half.

Strong defense amid cold shooting would be the theme of the night, but the Wolverines would ride it out to a victory and the second Final Four appearance under John Beilein.

The next challenge? Sister Jean’s Loyola-Chicago squad on Saturday night for a shot at the National Title game on April 2.