by | Nov 21, 2008 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

March 17, 1989

By Steve Kornacki ATLANTA — It didn’t look good for Michigan.

Xavier proved exasperating much of the game. The Musketeers powered the ball inside and frustrated the Wolverines with their quick guards.

The Wolverines needed more than 23 points apiece from Glen Rice and Rumeal Robinson to put away a 15-point underdog. They got it from Terry Mills and Demetrius Calip in a 92-87 win Friday at the Omni.

Mills played with purpose found, and Calip played on a memory. Together, they were the difference.

March 19, 1989 By Mitch Albom

ATLANTA — He has the eyes of an eagle and the touch of a card shark. And with his collegiate career on the line Sunday afternoon, he left the floor

in three-point territory, raised the forearm, flicked the wrist, waved good-bye with the fingers — somebody get a video camera, this is beautiful
— and the ball arched in glorious perfection, dropping through the net the way a pearl might drop through water.


We’re outta here.

“I knew that one was going in,” said Glen Rice, who saw an awful lot of them go in Sunday in Michigan’s 91-82 win over South Alabama. “When you’re on a roll like that, you know before they ever reach the rim.”

March 23, 1989 By Mitch Albom

LEXINGTON, Ky. — At the buzzer, finally, it was the dark blue that did the celebrating, the dark blue that did the high fives and the glory dance. Rumeal Robinson had his fists waving, and Glen Rice did a little jump step and Steve Fisher was standing there, smiling like a Cheshire cat at the miracle his young team had just completed. The Michigan Wolverines, forever in the wrong colors in this wacky NCAA Tournament, finally sent the sky-blue North Carolina Tar Heels home for spring break. Do not adjust the color on your TV set.

“Michigan won?” you say. “They made it to the regional final? They are one game away from the Final Four? Michigan won?”

It’s true. Dark blue.

Read it and leap. U-M 92, UNC 87.

March 25, 1989 By Johnette Howard

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The maize-and-blue crowd lingered now to roar at every snipped shred of the champion’s net.

Michigan had just pulverized Virginia, 102-65. Michigan was going to college basketball’s Final Four, and interim coach Steve Fisher was being whisked through the on-court swirl to a live CBS-TV interview, where he would soon be introduced to the nation by game announcer Tim (Who Says I Need a Teleprompter?) Brant as “Steve Frieder.”

Sometimes you can’t win, even when you win.

On one side of the court, Michigan athletic director Bo Schembechler stood in the wings. His famous fist of a face was clenched into a grin. The Wolverines players were bobbing up and down on the court. And when the TV lights went up on Fisher, a barely decipherable chant began in the stands.

“What are they saying? What are they saying?” Bo asked.

“They’re yelling, ‘Come back Fisher, come back!’ ” someone answered.

“Oh,” Schembechler said, still smiling. “I’m getting a lot of advice on this one.” CUTLINE: Loy Vaught and the Wolverines found elbow room against North Carolina in the third round. North Carolina had knocked Michigan out of the tournament the two previous years. Players on the Michigan bench jump for joy as the Wolverines go ahead of Virginia in the Southeast Regional championship game. Michigan football coach/athletic director Bo Schembechler, who flew from Ann Arbor to Atlanta after spring practices to watch first- and second-round games, signs an autograph. Terry Mills (right) and Loy Vaught tie up a Virginia player during their regional championship victory. Michigan interim coach Steve Fisher gives guard Demetrius Calip a pat on the back as he enters the Xavier game in Atlanta.

Michigan hired the Georgia State University band to play for Wolverines’ games during the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Atlanta.


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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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