The University of Michigan Wolverines basketball team was leaving Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the way to the Big 10 Tournament in Washington, D.C., when the plane at a small airport skidded off the runway. Though everyone was unharmed, high winds were a factor when the pilot aborted take-off on the way to D.C. Michigan Basketball released a tweet saying that everyone was okay.
Our team and everyone in our travel party is safe. Update on today's travel accident.
— Michigan Basketball (@umichbball) March 8, 2017
This will be the first time the Big 10 Tournament will take place at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., following the addition of University of Maryland to the Big 10, says the Inquisitr. Maryland will be the host for this year’s tournament, and has their fingers crossed for a big showing. Maryland is led by Coach Mark Turgeon and junior Melo Tremble, who is known for his sweet three-point shot.
Video Shows State Of Michigan Basketball's Plane After Accident https://t.co/AkLTY0lwSQ
— Sooners Fans (@SoonersViews) March 8, 2017
But before a whistle was blown, the University of Michigan team and their supporters gladly deplaned after they were blown off the runway in Ann Arbor, Michigan, says the Washington Post. Matt Shepard, Michigan’s play-by-play guy, posted to fans and followers that all was fine.
“Scary attempt to get to DC but everyone is alright.”
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Understandably, this was not the way the Wolverines wanted to start their trip to hopefully dominate the Big 10 Tournament. The school released a statement to assure fans and parents that all was going to be fine.
“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 runway. The plane sustained extensive damage but everyone on board was safely evacuated and is safe. The team is making alternative travel plans.”
The eighth-seeded Michigan Wolverines plays its first game tomorrow afternoon at noon against Illinois.
— David J. Chait (@DavidJChait) March 8, 2017
But when Michigan finally arrives in Washington, D.C., they have an uphill battle, as none of the prognosticators have chosen them to win the Big 10 Tournament, says the Washington Post. Today is the first round, where No. 13 Penn State is playing No. 12 Nebraska. Later tonight, Ohio State meets Rutgers. But the action for Michigan starts at noon, and there are high hopes for them to beat Illinois, as they have been on a bit of a winning trend per tournament scouts.
“The Wolverines closed the regular season by winning six of their last eight games, including a 12-point victory over Purdue in late February. Michigan would face the Boilermakers again in an intriguing quarterfinal matchup should it take care of business against the Fighting Illini, who burst their own bubble with a loss to Rutgers in the regular season finale and would need to make a run into the weekend to get back into the NCAA tournament discussion.”
— Hannah Withiam (@HannahWithiam) March 8, 2017
USA Today says that there was nothing wrong with the plane carrying the Michigan team, but it was the winds that have been affecting the area. Currently, high winds in Michigan have been responsible for knocking out power to 405,000 customers in the area. Michigan coach John Beilein says that, understandably, everyone was shook up.
“Everybody is pretty shook up. There’s only minor injuries. The big thing to know is we have no major injuries. We do have some minor injuries, but nothing appears to be major. Everybody’s good. It could have been much worse.”
Will you watch the Big 10 Tournament? Are you looking forward to the NCAA Tournament?
[Featured Image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]