As the Wolverines football season was winding down late last year, there was a lot of buzz around a different University of Michigan team. The men's basketball team was making people talk. And for good reason. The team spent the entire regular season bouncing around the top ten rankings even reaching the number one spot, the first time in 20 years, for a brief moment. A lot was said early on in the season, with fans hoping on a deep run into the post season. Lucky for them, they got what they asked for.
I combed through thousands of images from Michigan's six post-season games to the National Championship game in Atlanta, Georgia.
The photo on the left shows my seat in the photo workroom during the Final Four and the one on the right shows the number of times I went through various security check points. A lot.
Let's start at the Palace in Auburn Hills. Michigan faced South Dakota State in the first round and VCU in the second. Michigan was housed in the Pistons locker room, which was the bluest room I've ever photographed in, ever.
L: Glenn Robinson III dunks with a giant hole ripped in his jersey. R: Tim Hardaway Jr. eyes a reverse jam against VCU.
Basketball at Cowboy Stadium. They say everything is bigger in Texas and by the looks of this 150-foot socreboard they aren't lying!
The team takes a moment to make a photo before practice in Dallas.
A little helping hand for Spike during practice. Look at McGary's pointed toes!
Michigan faced Kansas in the South Region. Here's Trey attempting to pick this guy's pocket.
Here sophomore Trey Burke lines up and hits the game-changing, and most epic moment of the season, three-point basket.
And the reaction.
That three-pointer allowed Michigan to come from behind and tie the game. They went on to beat Kansas in overtime.
This was my first time covering a Final Four and it was an incredible learning experience. And exhausting. Every game required an itinerary of press conferences, break out sessions, open practices, coach availability, player availability and fan events. With every Michigan advancement came another round of events. Not to mention the scramble that ensues after your team secures a spot in the next round in a different city and state! Flights, hotel, car rentals and laundry, too! I'm lucky to work with two reporters that know the drill and we often book and travel together.
And while this schedule is pretty rigorous for a journalist, I can't imagine what it's like for the players. Every game brought on a new crop of opposing team media, many of them with the same questions as the group before. "Mitch McGary, how did you lose 20 pounds?" "Trey Burke, are you going to leave for the NBA at the end of the season?" "Tim Hardaway Jr., what's it like to have a famous father?"
Here, Tim Hardaway Jr. speaks to reporters during a break out session.
Onto Atlanta and the Final Four.
There was a different level of excitement in Atlanta and a whole lot more Michigan fans than the pervious weekend in Texas.
Freshman Mitch McGary was a dominating player through out the post season.
Games like these are just a roller coaster of emotions. Here, Trey Burke's family reacts.
Michigan fans celebrate a win against Syracuse and advance to the National Championship game.
A lot of nerves for this one.
I made this photo with a camera positioned at my feet and pointed up at the basket. It was triggered from the camera I was holding in my hands.
Here is a sequence of photos showing Michigan sophomore Trey Burke block on Louisville's Peyton Siva. Burke was charged with a foul on the play and some say that it changed the momentum of the game.
Happy Lousiville players.
One of the rules for photographers on the court during the post season was that you had to remain seated for one minute after the final buzzer. This allowed everyone a chance at photographing the happenings on the court without the obstruction of reporters, photographers and video staff. That one minute of peace allowed for this photo. Which would never had happened if we had all jumped up and mobbed the floor.