INDIANAPOLIS — When Michigan men’s basketball coach John Beilein goes to look at the game film from the Wolverines’ win over Indiana, he might not have the best footage of sophomore guard Kameron Chatman’s buzzer-beater 3-pointer that gave Michigan the win.
Student manager Spenser Pawlik, who was in charge of filming the game, got a little overexcited when Chatman’s shot fell.
“I might have missed a lot of the filming at the last second there,” Pawlik said. “I shook the camera a couple times. I jumped up, ran around, tried to find some Michigan fans, found a couple of them. It was all celebration from there. I was a little shocked. I didn’t even realize — I don’t even think Kam realized he had the ball in his hands for a second.”
Pawlik wasn’t the only one in a frenzy when Chatman’s shot from the corner fell. Fans, players and stadium staff were all stunned by the 3-pointer that clinched the win for the Wolverines.
Michigan sophomore Ricky Doyle might have been closest to the action. He was on Michigan’s bench sitting right behind Chatman when he shot, and his proximity to the play landed him on the wrong end of a celebratory dog pile.
“When Kam hit that shot he fell backwards,” Doyle said. “I was right behind him, and he fell on top of me, so then everyone jumped on top of him, and I was on the bottom of it.
“I was trying to get myself out of there. I was getting squished in between chairs. I’m pretty sure I cut my hand, some bruises. … Man, you don’t know what goes on in those dog piles. It’s rough.”
Junior guard Andrew Dakich was one of the bodies piled on Doyle, but he didn’t care. He just wanted to celebrate.
“I don’t know if I was the first one to tackle (Chatman), but he was literally right in front of me,” Dakich said. “I think I jumped on him. I wanted to bring him down. Like I didn’t care about getting hurt or anything like that. I just thought it was an unbelievable moment.”
Brennan Smith, a Michigan junior, wasn’t nearly as close to the action. Smith, along with about two dozen other Michigan students, watched from the nosebleed seats.
“I just saw them pass it to Kam, and I was surprised they went to him,” Smith said. “But he just shot it, and you can’t really see the hoop from here, but like obviously it went in because everybody was going crazy. This was the fastest I’ve ever seen the student section erupt.”
Because of where his seat was, it was tough to see the result at first.
“I could see that it was close,” Smith said. “But then you can’t really tell if he air balled or made it, but obviously he made it and everyone went crazy.”
Just outside of Smith’s section, in the corridor at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Alec Brumfield, who works at a smoothies concession stand, said he could feel the stadium shake.
“There was a giant roar,” Brumfield said. “I saw it on the TV screen. It was crazy. The shot was real nice. The crowd went wild, obviously.”
Back on the court, Josh Baker was working the baseline camera for ESPN.
“(There was a) pass out to the corner, pretty good defense, but he had to throw up the shot,” Baker said. “Looked like it was going to be long from my view, but it went in. It was really crazy.
“We (shot) the bench (afterwards), and people were kind of excited.”
Behind Baker, Nate Williams, a trumpet player in Michigan’s band, couldn’t believe what had happened.
“The hoop was kind of in the way, but I could see him off in the corner and, wow, “ Williams said afterward while trying to contain his excitement. “Didn’t think he was going to shoot it, but wow.
“Yesterday, Duncan Robinson’s shot was kind of similar, but that was to tie the game, though. This was something else.”
On the other end of the court, opposite of where Chatman shot, Indiana trumpet player Alec Richards had a different reaction.
“I mean, all I saw was some guy in the corner threw it up and it went in, and it was a lucky shot, I guess,” Richards said. “It was pretty disappointing, but we’ll move on.”