Michigan women's basketball plane makes emergency landing; team gets home safely
The Michigan women's basketball team's run in the NCAA tournament ended abruptly on Saturday.
But the road back home to Ann Arbor was just as bumpy and, quite honestly, way more scary.
U-M women's basketball assistant coach Toyelle Wilson shared on social media on Saturday night that the team plane, going from San Antonio back to Michigan, flew through a storm. The plane lost considerable altitude, lost cabin pressure and the passengers had to use the deployed oxygen masks.
Wilson wrote that the plane had to make an emergency landing in Evansville, Indiana, about 430 miles southwest of Ann Arbor.
It is not clear what kind of issue the plane experienced to force the landing.
A few minutes later, Wilson tweeted a picture of the team, all masked up and giving thumbs up on the plane. She wrote: "Just want everyone to know, we are on the ground SAFE. Waiting for the next steps."
The school confirmed Wilson's story to the Free Press on Sunday, adding that the team waited for another plane to arrive in Evansville. The team left the gate at 3:47 a.m. Central, were in the air seven minutes later and landed at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti at 5:54 a.m. Eastern.
The Michigan Daily reports that aside from a few bloody noses, there were no other injuries. The U-M student newspaper also reports that the team ordered pizza as they waited to take off again and get home.
Then, some six hours later, the Michigan women's basketball official Twitter account tweeted that the team arrived safely back in Michigan.
It is also not clear if the team used the same plane or a different plane to get home.
Michigan left San Antonio on Saturday after its 78-75 overtime loss to Baylor in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. It was the first time in program history that U-M reached a regional semifinal.
This scenario is reminiscent of the Michigan men's basketball team's harrowing travel mishap, when their chartered flight skidded off the runway at Willow Run in an attempt to takeoff for Washington for the 2017 Big Ten tournament. The team eventually left for the tournament, albeit without all of its uniforms and equipment since those were on the plane, which was the site of an investigation, and won the tournament.
Free Press sports writer Orion Sang contributed to this report. Contact Kirkland Crawford: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @HiKirkHere.