It's been said before and even more throughout the weekend.
Playing its third game in less than 48 hours, worn-down Northwestern couldn't match No. 24 Wisconsin in any phase of Saturday's Big Ten Tournament semifinal.
And the celebration will continue when MI hops on a plane for the second time since the crash with a championship trophy from a tournament they nearly missed.
More than 100 members of Michigan's traveling party - players, coaches, cheerleaders, others - were evacuated from their plane after it failed to take flight and slid through a fence Wednesday.
Not all hope is lost, though: Tomorrow, the 'Cats will nearly certainly get their first bid to the NCAA Tournament, keeping alive the best season in the program's history.
MI secured its title behind senior leadership, 3-point shooting and gritty defense. MI threatened to pull away twice in the opening session, but Wisconsin answered both times.
MI shot 53.8% from three-point range (7 of 13) and 59.1% overall (13 of 22) and led by only one point at the break.
Even if total attendance this week wasn't overwhelming, the shift to the East Coast validated the Big Ten's desire to branch out from the Midwest.
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MI hit 3 of 6 three-pointers and 8 of 12 shots overall in the first 8:52 of the game to build a 19-13 lead.
MI was up 30-20 after Walton made 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions.
His injury required five stitches in his leg, but it didn't slow him down.
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That's not a good thing. Coach John Beilein shifted responsibilities throughout the early part of the second half, alternating coverage of Wisconsin big men Ethan Happ and Nigel Hayes. It was just the Gophers' second loss in 11 games. "At the offensive end, we're not quite as consistent as we are defensively, and if we share the ball well and get some assists and don't turn it over very much, we'll be a tough team to beat".
But he looked strong against MI, scoring 13 points in the first half.
Badgers guard Bronson Koenig, who missed the team's February 16 contest in Ann Arbor with an injury, was a force from the outset, scoring 13 first-half points - Including a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer to trim Michigan's lead to 33-32. The Wildcats had just one assist in the first 31 minutes and finished with just five against 12 turnovers. They responded with a 11-2 run of their own to start the second half, pushing the lead back to double digits. It's time for those young guys to show what they can do.
Senior guard Bronson Koenig scored 17 points in his final home game, combining with D'Mitrik Trice to give No. 22 Wisconsin's offense a second-half boost in a 66-49 victory over Minnesota on Sunday. MI is probably one of the most feared teams heading into the tournament. "We got bent sideways a little bit offensively".