UM students jubilant in Ann Arbor after win

The Detroit News
Fans celebrate the University of Michigan's 69-57 win of Loyola University Chicago to advance to the championship game of the NCAA Tournament.

Ann Arbor — Immediately following the University of Michigan's 69-57 win over Loyola University Chicago, hundreds of students converged at an intersection on South University drive to celebrate the win.

The revelry was an outpouring of jubilation after a mostly tense game where the Wolverines spent most of the time trailing their opponents. They sang chants and jumped around to the ubiquitous bassline of The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army."

A few tried to climb street lights, but were quickly dissuaded by police. There were four arrests for disorderly conduct, one trash can fire, one couch fire which was out before the fire department arrived, one attempted bonfire and some fireworks, according to the Ann Arbor Police Department.

Fans celebrate the University of Michigan's 69-57 win over Loyola University Chicago to advance to the championship game of the NCAA Tournament.

Students watching the game in jam-packed local bars were left stone-faced and stressed at the end of the first half, with their team down by seven. By the beginning of the second, though, their enthusiasm made it appear like they had been in the lead all along.

Senior Matthew Stieg said the celebration was the moment of unit he had been waiting for.

A fan reaches for a traffic light as police attempt to pull him down.

"It's amazing, we're seniors and I feel like every year the school spirit's there but it's really great to finally have a moment with graduation around the corner to finally have a moment where campus come together," Stieg said. "It's really what we've been waiting for."

Hours before tip-off, many of the city's most popular spots to watch the game were already filled with students.

Shortly after 11 a.m., scores of fans formed a line outside Good Time Charley's and the establishment soon ran out of spots to watch the game.

A good portion of the students arrived with laptops, textbooks and notes in hand.

David Grogan, a senior studying economics and political science, has an essay due tomorrow night. But the electric atmosphere, he said, meant he had to come.

Fans celebrate the University of Michigan's 69-57 win of Loyola University Chicago to advance to the championship game of the NCAA Tournament.

"These people around me, they energize me," he said. "Cheering along with them, singing 'Hail To The Victors' when we win — I can't give that up, it's so much fun."

He and Regan Richards, another senior, were plugging away at their laptops despite the increasing clamor in the bar. They've spent every basketball game but one at Good Time Charley's. Richards said the staff began recognizing them long ago.

Richards hopes to see her team to go all the way this year.

"I'm a graduating senior and football hasn't been doing that well," she said. "It's all about making those memories."

Grogan, like most fans, was confident that Michigan would beat their underdog opponents. He had a message for one of the school's beloved nuns.

"Sorry Sister Jean," he said.

Brad Wilson, the bar's manager, said lines are nothing unusual for Good Time Charley's, but the energy for this March Madness run has been particularly high. And business has been humming. They received so many calls for reservations they had to disable their phone.

"In the Elite Eight, every time a shoot went through the hoop, the place was shaking, rattling off the hinges," he said.

And among Ann Arbor's drinking spots, Good Time Charley's is relatively sedate.

At The Blue Leprechaun just down the street, most of the floor space was taken up by students seated around folding tables. Manager Mike Gradillas said while fans are relaxed now, "it's like the calm before the storm."

Michigan seniors David Grogan, right, and Regan Richards study while waiting for friends to arrive at Good Time Charley's in Ann Arbor. They arrived more than six hours before the Wolverines are seat to play Loyola University Chicago in the NCAA Tournament's Final Four in order to secure seats.

Revanth Manam, a freshman in the business school, didn't follow the NCAA Tournament before this year. Witnessing Michigan's run and the energy on campus has made it hard not to fall in love with the sport.

"It's pretty hard to dodge a conversation that doesn't involve men's basketball, " Manam said. "I knew that there was a huge hype around sports, but being here is complete different."