The past five days for the Michigan Wolverines Basketball team has been nothing but a great story to tell to their kids someday.
On Sunday the Wolverines were crowned the Big Ten Tournament Champions, as the highest seed to ever do so. Handling the 24th ranked Wisconsin Badgers in convincing fashion in front of a crowd of just over 20 thousand.
It shall not go unforgotten that John Beilein’s Michigan team barely made it to D.C. to compete in the Big Ten Tournament, arriving at the Verizon Center around two hours prior to tip-off against the Fighting Illini of Illinois due to an early morning flight. Michigan had a very scary situation with their attempt to travel to D.C. on Wednesday due to a very severe wind storm going on in South-East Michigan.
“The Michigan men’s basketball team plane was involved in an accident Wednesday afternoon. After attempting to take off in high winds, takeoff was aborted and, after strong braking, the plane slid off the runway. The plane sustained extensive damage but everyone on board was safely evacuated and is safe. The team is making alternate travel plans.” -Matt Shepard of Fox Sports
Coach Beilein spoke to media regarding the incident shortly after releasing this short statement: “All okay! A few guys banged up and shook up. Blessed we did not get up in the air.”
A situation like this one where things had potetional to inflict harm on multiple players, and staff members of the Michigan Basketball program, you have to imagine that they truly felt blessed to be alive.
Some of the Michigan players were very skeptical about attempting to fly again the next day, however ultimately the team made the decision to take the trip to D.C early Thursday morning.
Often enough, when people suffer through an experience similar to the Wolverines’ plane incident, they tend to have somewhat of a different perception of life. In my personal narrative, I believe that is exactly what happened to this basketball team on Wednesday.
Not only did John Beilein’s hoop squad win the next four games to win the Big Ten Tournament, but they also looked damn well in doing so. Due to the circumstances of what this team had experienced, I believe they had a different outlook on not only life, but the game of basketball as well. These players are now absorbing every aspect of life, and savoring every second of it.
The 8 seeded Wolverines were out these past four days returning to the simplest, purest form of basketball possible. Every player out to play as if it was their last game they’ll ever play again. Zero distractions, and feeling incredibly blessed to live another day, to play another game.
Four days, four victories, one Big Ten Tournament title for Michigan. As I said before, I believe that this group of young men was emotionally propelled into the spot they are in now.
Receiving a 7 seed in the NCAA tournament to take on Oklahoma State in the first round.
I wish nothing but the best of luck to John Beilein and the Michigan Wolverines as they hope to continue their magical journey in the ‘big dance’.