Michigan’s storybook season continued on Saturday night with a win in the Big Ten tournament championship game. The Wolverines defeated Maryland 71-55 at the United Center in Chicago to win their third Big Ten tournament title in school history. However, it was the ceremony before the game that had the Michigan fan base in tears.
In the run-up to the game, Michigan honored the victims of the shooting at Oxford High School by naming their men’s basketball team honorary members of the “Stand With Oxford” campaign. As part of the campaign, various memorabilia was distributed to Michigan fans, including a tribute plaque to the three victims.
“We are absolutely heartbroken by the horrific tragedy that happened to the Oxford community earlier this week,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “We send our heartfelt condolences to the entire community and our thoughts are with them during this extremely difficult time.”
In fact, the victims were just a part of the ceremony. Following Beilein’s remarks, Michigan unveiled the plaque that included a plaque to each of the victims. Michigan also displayed a “Orange for Oxford” decal, decal and patch to the stands.
Michigan, No. 6 overall, is now ranked third in the final Associated Press Top 25, as well as in the AP Top 25 coaches’ poll, to end the regular season. They improved to 31-4 and 16-2 in Big Ten play this season. The Wolverines will face No. 2 Xavier on Friday in the Midwest Regional.
The three slain students were Charlie Dimmock, 16; Andrew Boldt, 17; and Martin Pompili, 17. Oxford High School basketball players Madison Kocer and Nate Miles were among four survivors and the school’s football coach Jason White sustained minor injuries.
@UMich B1G champions. We’ll never forget the moment our boys support our community. #StandWithOxford pic.twitter.com/PkAc0BYiy7 — Dr. Pat Lyons (@DrPatLyons) March 17, 2016