The Wolverines went to East Lansing and left with an 82-72 victory over No. 4 Michigan State. Top-five wins, especially on the road, are as rare as a John Beilein technical. There won’t be many better victories this college basketball season, if any, that Michigan’s on Saturday.
Harnessing all that energy for good was a challenge for Wagner at times last season. His inconsistency earlier this season, Beilein believes, was a result of getting away from what made him successful.
Again looking to the rafters, Wagner spoke about the fans who made the trip to East Lansing. “This game means so much for the people up there and all the Michigan family out there. Obviously me being from Germany it’s a little different, but for these people you just want to play your heart out.”
Wagner’s performance came despite re-injuring his right ankle in practice Thursday. He’d sprained it against Texas on Dec. 12, missed the next two games, and started looking comfortable again in Tuesday’s one-point loss to Purdue. Beilein said Wagner showed “a lot of courage” by playing Saturday. Wagner said he’s not at 100 percent but adrenaline carried him through.
“I’ve worked on that all my life,” Wagner said.