In the immediate minutes after the Michigan men’s basketball team claimed its spot in the NCAA Championship game after beating Loyola University Chicago Saturday night, hundreds of University of Michigan students and fans flooded the intersection of South University Avenue and Church Street to celebrate.
LSA junior Mikayla Easley was at Garage Bar watching the game with friends when the Wolverines won. After the game ended, she and her friends, along with many patrons of Garage Bar and other nearby bars, headed to the streets to celebrate.
“After we won, everybody at Garage Bar poured out of Garage and just into the streets, and everyone from Rick’s was pouring out, Charley’s, Cantina was pouring out and just running to the center where Church (St.) is,” Easley said.
LSA sophomore Jack Finkel was headed to Pizza House on Church St. to celebrate after watching the game at home with his friends. He describes a scene of mass rejoicing and unity as students and fans gathered to chant U-M sayings such as, “Who’s got it better than us?” and, “It’s great to be a Wolverine!”
“All the cars were honking, people were just running, people were screaming one thing or another,” Finkel said. “On the corner of South U. and Church, right under the street light, there must have been maybe 300, 400 students chanting the usual chants.”
According to a Detroit News article, there were four arrests for disorderly conduct as well as a trashcan and couch fire, which prompted the arrival of the Ann Arbor Fire Department. However, on-duty Ann Arbor Police officers said the couch fire was extinguished before the fire department arrived.
Despite the several arrests and brief fires, the Ann Arbor Police Department sent a tweet out around 10:30 p.m. Saturday night thanking the Ann Arbor community for celebrating responsibly.
Easley said the gathering was very orderly and after most of the fans had left the area, she saw people picking up trash from the streets.
“It was very much a celebrating thing — no one was angry at anybody,” Easley said.
LSA sophomore Taylor King echoed Easley’s statements and described how proud she felt to be a Wolverine on Saturday night. King was present during the celebrations in the streets, but she said despite the excitement and moments of chaos, fans knew how to celebrate but remain in control at the same time.
“I was expecting people to be a lot crazier than they were,” King said. “Like I know people were climbing light poles and other people’s shoulders, but compared to how other schools have done it, I think we did a pretty good job. We know how to rage, but not destroy the whole town.”