UPDATE: It appears, according to ESPN, that the decision to have Michigan play so soon and in their practice jerseys wasn’t made by the Big Ten, but instead dictated by Michigan.
***The original story is below in its entirety***
The Michigan Wolverines had a bit of a hiccup on the way to the Big Ten Tournament, as the basketball team’s plane crashed off the runway due to high winds. Thankfully, no one traveling with the party was injured in the accident but, in the aftermath, Michigan’s travel plans were changed drastically.
By Wednesday evening, it was common knowledge that the Wolverines would be attempting to fly from Ann Arbor to Washington D.C. on Thursday morning. While that might not seem crazy, Michigan was scheduled to play a game against Illinois… at noon.
With that in mind, things have not gone according to plan.
First, Michigan was delayed in transit by D.C. traffic, prompting the team to not arrive in the arena until 10:41 am ET. From there, the circus began.
Media was quarantined by Big Ten officials to, theoretically, avoid having any information get loose.
Then, the decision was made to push tip-off back (just before 11:00 am ET) by the massive margin of 20 minutes.
To make matters more hilarious and, frankly, crazier, it appears that Michigan will be forced to wear their practice uniforms for the game against the Illini.
This is a developing story at this point, but the Big Ten could not have handled things worse. Michigan arriving less than 90 minutes before scheduled tip-off is crazy and thoroughly avoidable given that the conference could have flipped the two early games and had the Wolverines and Illini tip-off at approximately 2:30 pm ET.
While all of that transpired, the handling of the situation, both publicly and privately, left much to be desired and this could be a black eye for the conference.