As of Sunday afternoon, Wright and his staff were still devising a plan to deal with a big man who is second on the Wolverines in scoring in the tournament (14.8 ppg), leads MI in rebounding (7.4) and is tied for the team lead with Duncan Robinson in 3-point field goals made (nine).
Wagner, playing in front of his parents who made the trip from Germany, scored 24 points, had 15 rebounds and was 10 for 16 from the field. So all five Villanova starters can comfortably make long-range shots. The Wildcats rely heavily on the three-point shot - they've hit more of those, 454, than any other team in Division I history - and the Wolverines put a high priority on guarding the arc. I'll just give you one play. But that's not the case here.
Facing Michigan's defense has not been easy, either.
But despite all that, just about no one is giving John Beilein's team a chance against Villanova on Monday night.
The results have been stellar.
Michigan's game plan used to revolve around offense, hitting enough shots to outscore teams.
Turner Sports and CBS Sports' exclusive coverage of the 2018 NCAA® Division I Men's Basketball National Championship Monday, April 2 - MI vs. Villanova - will tip off at 8:20 p.m.
MI does have one big advantage here, and that's that they can win in just about any type of game.
Devonte Graham, the senior guard who has been the glue in this Final Four season, led Kansas with 23 points.
Can Michigan stifle Villanova's offense in a similar way? "You just try to maximize the strengths of your individual parts on defense". "We all watch the best players, the best coaches and see what we can learn".
There's a reason so much of the talk surrounding the NCAA Tournament championship game is about 3-pointers.
Then, on the other hand, Villanova is 5-0 ATS in the NCAA tournament and certainly feels like a team of destiny at this point.
"Nothing personal, but I'm the wrong person to ask", said Andy Enfield, the coach of Southern California, which fired associate coach Tony Bland after he was arrested in the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe, accused of accepting $13,000 for steering two players to specific business representatives. "It's an imperfect game". If you missed, you kept shooting.
"Those two are big pieces of our defense because they do a lot for us", guard Phil Booth said.
Yaklich said Loyola was a good tuneup for preparing for Villanova.
MI wasn't the only big preseason poll whiff: Virginia ended the regular season ranked No. 1, and the Cavaliers were also unranked to start the season. The second loss, a 92-88 setback on the road, led to an especially tough film session with Yaklich and the players.
He has transported such ideals to the point of changing the college game, or at least defining how a small-ball revolution should look at its most handsome and meticulous level.
The Wolverines apparently learned their lessons.
None of this is that surprising given that Villanova is a No. 1 seed, has won by double-digits in each NCAA Tournament outing, and made Kansas look like a jayvee squad Saturday.