Best of 2016-17 men's basketball season: Best story
With the 2016-17 season in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to consider some of the best of the season that was.
First up, in a four-part series: Best story.
Get the BTN team’s answers below.
Michigan authored the most compelling story in the nation this March. It began down the stretch, as the Wolverines won six of their last eight regular-season games. Then, as the team was prepping to go to Washington, D.C., for the Big Ten tourney, the club’s plane careened off the runway and crashed. John Beilein let the players decide if they still wanted to fly the next day or just forfeit. The team opted to fly, arriving the day of its opening game vs. Illinois. The rest is history. Hard to believe that in early February, Michigan lost five of eight games and was 14-9 overall and 4-6 in the Big Ten. – BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart
Michigan’s play to end the year and advance to Sweet 16. Their last three losses were in OT (at Minnesota), on a miracle last-second play (at Northwestern) and then a one-point loss (vs. Oregon). They really came together the last few weeks and it is important that what they accomplished not be completely overshadowed by what they overcame. – BTN analyst Shon Morris
In a year when Northwestern grabbed national hearts and headlines, they weren’t even the best story by the end of the Big Ten season. Michigan earned that honor by not only deciding to play in Washington, D.C. a day after a frightening plane incident, but ripping off a run to the Big Ten Tourney title and onto the Sweet 16 that will go down in Wolverine lore. John Beilein’s group was fun to watch and easy to root for late in the season, especially after they handled difficult situation so admirably. – BTN.com’s Alex Roux
Northwestern. I was walking on Michigan Avenue and saw a “Goodbye Someday” sign celebrating the end of the Cubs’ World Series drought and my thoughts immediately turned toward Northwestern’s magical run. Northwestern overcame injuries and close losses to finally hear its name on Selection Sunday. It even went on to win its first NCAA tourney game, before giving eventual West Region champ and No. 1 seed Gonzaga some trouble in the second round. – BTN analyst Jess Settles
Michigan’s late-season run. The Wolverines were hot before the team’s plane ran off the runway en route to Washington, D.C. for the Big Ten tourney, but the six consecutive postseason wins, coupled with the ensuing water-filled locker room celebrations, could give Michigan’s rivals the goosebumps. As cliche as it is, Michigan was a team of destiny in D.C., and that carried over to the NCAA tourney, too, beating Oklahoma State and upsetting No. 2 Louisville to make the Sweet 16. – BTN.com’s Brent Yarina