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John Beilein and his senior back court stepped in front of the podium Thursday in Indy, reflecting on the week that was, and what's ahead.

John Beilein and his senior back court stepped in front of the podium Thursday in Indy, reflecting on the week that was, and what's ahead.

This time last week, the Michigan basketball program was picking up the pieces.

24 hours removed from a frightening experience when the team's plane, set to go from Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti to Washington D.C. for the Big Ten tournament, ran into trouble.

High winds caused the pilot of the plane to abort takeoff, slamming on the brakes and sending the plane, and all of it's passengers, careening through a gate before coming to a halt hundreds of yards before a wooded area.

The result of the accident could've been far worse. Regardless, Michigan's group of players, staff members and family, made the decision to head to the nation's capital the next morning, on it's way to winning four games in four days, bringing back the championship, ironically enough, on the plane.

Now into the NCAA tournament, the Wolverines are in Indianapolis set to take on Oklahoma State Friday afternoon, making the four hour trip by bus this time.

"We're thrilled to be in Indianapolis, in the heart of the Big Ten," Michigan coach John Beilein said Thursday. "We have a lot of fans in this area in the NCAA tournament. Two men (Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton Jr.) sitting next to me for four years have been great representatives of our university. They're playing as well as anybody can play, and we want to keep playing for a long time.

"Oklahoma State, however, is a terrific team that has had a tremendous season, outstanding talent, outstanding coach. They'll be standing in our way. It's going to be a great game tomorrow. I wish both teams the best."

Not looking to dwell on the emotional distress the last week has been filled with, Michigan is certainly looking to take the same approach this weekend as the team brought to the Big Ten tournament.

"Definitely was tough for all of us, but I just think the hardest part for our team was just getting back on the plan," senior Zak Irvin said. "Once we landed back in D.C., we felt like why can't we just go out and win this all. 

"Why can't this be one of the greatest stories ever told. That was just our mindset throughout the whole tournament. We just wanted to win and play well for our brothers. It was a brotherhood for us."

Many wonder exactly how the physical and emotion week could potentially affect Michigan's performance in the NCAA tournament. According to Walton Jr., the Wolverines aren't ready for this story to end.

"Going out and winning the Big Ten tournament was a big accomplishment," Walton Jr. said. "But like I said, it doesn't end there for us. 

"We have bigger sights on things. Overall, we're more so excited that we're finally able to implement things that Coach has been preaching the entire year."


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