We Talkin’ About Practice (Jerseys), Michigan!
The Michigan Wolverines basketball team unveiled a new jersey for their Big Ten Tournament game against the Illinois Fighting Illini this afternoon. Actually, they wear them pretty much every day.
You see, the Wolverines were forced to wear their practice jerseys for their first postseason game.
They call it March Madness for a reason, but the Wolverines' madness has happened anywhere but the court.
The team's preparation for the Illini got off to a shaky start, literally, as the team's plane was forced off the runway by 66 MPH winds, leading to an emergency exit by the players and staff. According to MLive, head coach John Beilein held down inflatable chutes, spraying his face with fuel to ensue the team's safety. Prior to that, the team's practice facility lost power, due to the storm.
The team finally got to Washington DC for the tournament, a mere three hours before they were due to tip off. The game was postponed by just under a half hour, but that still left nowhere near enough time for the Wolverines' real jerseys to make it to the game, as their equipment was left on the damaged plane back in Michigan.
The story does have, at least temporarily, have a happy ending, as the Wolverines took down Illinois 77-55. Funnily enough, the Wolverines' travel problems, according to Matt Wenzel, caused the betting lines to be slightly shifted, from 6.5 favorites down to 4.5. Michigan, perhaps just relieved to finally hit the court in their new alternates, made sure that didn't come into play.
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