ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The intersection of University Avenue and Church Street were impassable Saturday night. Seconds after the Michigan Wolverines basketball team beat the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers to advance to the Championship game, hundreds of students and fans flooded the streets.
Many students said they hope to return Monday night.
“I’m pretty excited,” said freshman Basil Alsubee. “It’s a very big event. I’m looking forward to the social aspect. Just being around everyone.”
Monday morning students rushed down University Ave., trying to get to class. Some of them were already wearing Michigan shirts, jerseys, socks and hats or something in their school’s colors of maize and blue.
“I’m super excited, oh my gosh,” laughed Katie Keane. “People are already in line at the bars.”
Lines began forming before sunrise in front of a few bars, including Good Time Charleys a popular hot spot among students. Samantha Roth said she arrived at 6:20 a.m. and was the first one in line.
“I couldn’t sleep I was so excited,” said Roth. “Like, legitimately didn’t sleep last night. So I was like [I] might as well be in line and get a seat at the bar that I want than twiddling my thumbs at home.”
So Roth sat down on the cold cement, bundled up in her winter coat, inches away from the bar’s front door. She said she was determined to be at Charley’s for the big game. It’s where she watched the last few tournament games.
“I’ll be wearing the same outfit that I’ve worn the past three games,” Roth said smiling. “It’s worked so far. I think I’m the reason. Just kidding our players are amazing.”
The Wolverines will take on top-seeded Villanova Wildcats at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Roth's sorority sisters and friends joined her throughout the morning and unlike many students, some said they were feeling nervous about the game.
“The [three-pointers] have to fall,” said Abbey Zacharias. “They have to fall tonight. If they don’t then we’re going to have a problem.”
These friends said they didn’t have problem waiting together. They brought blankets and chips and were taking rotations on waiting, considering some of them had class.
“Actually I have a short class schedule this semester,” said Mandy Hibbler. “So I don’t have class but I think some of these guys do.”
The bar didn’t open until lunchtime. When the doors swung open, the students shuffled inside. And should Michigan win, they said they’ll return back outside and party like they did Saturday night.
“This is so cool that I get to be a student at the university when we’re playing for national championship,” said Tory Colbert. “It’s nothing that I’m ever going to experience again.”