Michigan's Mo Wagner stops mid-celebration to console heartbroken Houston player

The Dagger

At a time when his teammates were celebrating the buzzer-beating 3-pointer that kept their season alive and sent them to the Sweet 16, Michigan’s Moritz Wagner took the time to console a heartbroken opposing player.

He halted his celebratory run around the court to put his arm around Houston guard Corey Davis and offer him some encouragement.

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Sixth-seeded Houston was brokenhearted after Michigan’s 64-63 second-round NCAA tournament victory because the Cougars felt they had the game won only moments earlier. They were ahead by two with 3.8 seconds to go in the game and forward Devin Davis heading to the foul line for two free throws.

Davis, a 67.1 percent free throw shooter, missed both. Wagner grabbed the rebound and called timeout. That set up a length-of-the-floor play that ended with reserve guard Jordan Poole burying the go-ahead 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Houston players were devastated, none more than Devin Davis after sinking his first eight free throws yet going 1-for-4 in the final 30 seconds. Davis lingered on the court alone with his thoughts long after the rest of his teammates had left the arena.


“I want to say something about Devin Davis,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson told reporters after the game. “Devin Davis grew as much as anybody in our program.

“We were playing 6-1, 6 foot, 6 foot, 6-2 and 6-5, almost the entire last five minutes, and Devin was our center. And he was battling those 6-10, 6-11 kids as hard as he could. So there is no way — there is no way we were even in the game without Devin.”

Credit Sampson for publicly vouching for Devin Davis under the circumstances. And credit Wagner for doing what he could to comfort Corey Davis at a juncture when nobody would have blamed a Michigan player for running right past him without a thought.

It was shades of Arron Afflalo helping a grief-stricken Adam Morrison off the ground after UCLA’s comeback to defeat Gonzaga in the 2016 Sweet 16.

Michigan guard Jordan Poole (2) is chased by forward Moritz Wagner (13) after Poole made a 3-point basket at the buzzer to win an NCAA men’s college basketball tournament second-round game against Houston on Saturday, March 17, 2018, in Wichita, Kan. Michigan won 64-63. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Michigan guard Jordan Poole (2) is chased by forward Moritz Wagner (13) after Poole made a 3-point basket at the buzzer to win an NCAA men’s college basketball tournament second-round game against Houston on Saturday, March 17, 2018, in Wichita, Kan. Michigan won 64-63. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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Jeff Eisenberg is a college basketball writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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