|Alex Brandon, AP|
The Michigan Basketball team sure has had an interesting week. It started a week from Sunday when they blew out Nebraska in Lincoln. It ended yesterday, with a Big Ten Tournament Championship trophy. In between, they saw their plane slide off the runway at Willow Run, practice in Ann Arbor in the dark, Derrick Walton gets 5 stiches in his leg, borrow the Pistons plane to travel to DC hours/minutes before their noon tip against Illinois, beat Illinois in their practice jerseys and then make a run through #1 seed Purdue, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to the title.
They looked great at times and at other times struggled to find the basket. Many will point to the flight as being the big thing that bonded this team together, I would disagree. I think this team was playing very well going into the tournament and the plane crash just brought Michigan's story to the front page. It also gave the team some perspective that maybe they didn't have before. That playing ball in college is a pretty awesome thing and if you blink, you might miss it. I also believe the plane crash gave the Wolverines some extra jump in their legs when they needed it, playing 4 games in 4 days is very tough and you need all the motivation you can find. Walton and Irvin also knew they had one weekend to cement their basketball legacy and they did it.
Congratulations to the entire team! This was clearly a team victory and everyone from the scout team to the trainers deserve a round of applause for such a great run to the title!
- Michigan will play at 12:15 on Friday in Indy vs. OK State. The game will be on CBS. Another early tournament game for the Wolverines! OK State finished winning their last 10-14 games but did lose their last 3 games.