After a scary crash derailed their plans Wednesday, Michigan finally landed in D.C. for the Big Ten tourney, and is going straight to the arena for today's game.
The Michigan basketball team arrived in Washington D.C. Thursday morning, around 9 AM, which is no longer a small footnote. They were involved in a pretty scary crash Wednesday trying to get out of Wayne County. Luckily, all 109 passengers on the plane were safe, but the wreck they left behind looks bad.
Now comes another challenge. Look, winning some basketball games is still important for Michigan. They're the No. 8 seed, and at 20-11 this year their NCAA tournament hopes are small. The first step to a miraculous run is beating Illinois today in D.C. with a noon tip.
"My only advice was, don't go into this trying to win a game—go to the tournament to win the championship," John Beilein, Michigan's coach, had said on Tuesday. "Because you just don't know what can happen in these scenarios."
At the time, it was coach-speak. Now, after everything that transpired since then, it's a little more heavy. The team will go straight from the airport to the Verizon Center—from the plane to the court, basically—ending a six-hour window that takes them from gathering in Ann Arbor to game time. Who knows what they'll do about equipment and uniforms. According to MLive, as of late Wednesday afternoonthat stuff was still onboard the plane as part of the FAA investigation.
This is the hand Michigan has been dealt. They've finally made it to D.C. safely. Now they just have to play basketball.
They seem OK with it.
Update: The unis were in fact on the plane: