"Now I just think about it: If that airplane had ever just lifted, there was no way.it was going to have power to get up in the air. You'll love it forever"'. It's one that was standing out in a field on Wednesday afternoon for more than an hour evacuating the airplane that skidded off the runway at Willow Run Airport.
And the celebration will continue when MI hops on a plane for the second time since the crash with a championship trophy from a tournament they nearly missed.
"This is March. We want to be playing our best basketball in March", wing Zak Irvin said. "Blessed we did not get up in the air".
The Big Ten may be weaker than usual this season, but MI enters the NCAA Tournament as a unsafe team. MI won the title in 1998 but had it vacated due to NCAA sanctions.
MI senior point guard Derrick Walton dominated the second half to finish with 29 points and nine assists in a Wolverines 84-77 victory over Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
The four-game stretch was completed with a win over Wisconsin Sunday, a game that MI controlled, gave up and controlled again to snatch the first tournament title in program history.
"It's huge for us, definitely", Hayes said, "to see what we can do, what we're capable of when we're playing well". "Had a lot of trials and tribulations. We're here for a reason".
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The Badgers looked so good during their winning streak and so ordinary in this one.
The Badgers wouldn't go away, though.
Upon announcing the bracket, CBS analyst Seth Davis said he is looking forward to watching the second-round matchup between Michigan State and top-seeded Kansas, a statement that did not sit well with the Hurricane faithful gathered at the campus Rathskeller bar for the Selection Sunday watch party. Find out all the latest information about the Big Ten Tournament, including maps, parking, fan guide, schedule, and any late breaking news you need when attending the games.
Michigan AthleticsMichigan had to play its first B1G Tourney game in its practice gear. "You're going to have a hard time against anybody when you're having that type of struggles offensively".
MI had won six of seven games, and the Badgers had lost five of seven. That followed a 10-for-22 three-point shooting performance in Friday night's 70-60 win over in in the quarterfinals. Even if its NCAA stay doesn't last long, though, MI has already pulled off one of the best stories of March Madness that we'll see.
Walton entered the day as the team's leading scorer and leading assist man while carrying the team over their final two games as he poured in a 29-point effort against Minnesota in the Big Ten semifinal. But the Big Ten has all the answers, too. The Spartans' athletic director served as chairman this year of the tournament committee, making him the public spokesperson for the group that forms the bracket.