ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan basketball fans and alumni from across the country will go to San Antonio to see the Wolverines play in the Final Four this weekend. Within the state of Texas, members of the U of M Club of Dallas began making their travel plans Sunday morning.
Later this week, they’ll take a relatively short trip to watch Michigan make its first Final Four appearance since 2013.
Brian Levine is the president of the U of M Club of Dallas, a regional alumni organization. He quickly organized a bus trip for Michigan alumni in the Dallas-Fort Worth to travel to San Antonio to watch the Wolverines face Loyola in the first national semifinal Saturday, tip set for 6:09 p.m. ET.
Levine couldn’t give an exact number of how many Dallas-area Wolverines fans and alumni he expects to make the 275-mile bus trip to San Antonio’s Alamodome on Saturday. He posted an announcement about the Final Four bus trip on the U of M Club of Dallas’ Facebook page Sunday night. Less than 12 hours later, 20 people — 10 away from the minimum of 30 — had signed up for the trip.
“If we fill one bus, we’ll get a second,” Levine, a 1995 Michigan graduate, said. “If we fill a second bus, we’ll get a third. It will take people down to San Antonio that morning and return that night. And if Michigan wins Saturday, we’ll go back Monday, too.”
Levine also helps organize watch parties for Michigan football and basketball in Dallas. He has seen crowds at local bars, including the U of M Club of Dallas’ home bar, Nickel and Rye, grow from about 20 people for a regular-season basketball game to almost 200 for the NCAA Tournament games.
Levine, however, isn’t certain he’ll be able to go to the national semifinal game Saturday in San Antonio. His in-laws arrive from Houston on Saturday afternoon for Passover.
“I was at the 2013 regional semifinal [in Arlington, Texas] against Kansas, and watched them beat Florida to go to the national championship,” Levine said.
“Michigan has a great tradition in basketball. We have a coach that’s recognized as a wonderful coach who is known for doing the things right way. He was named by peers as the No. 1 ethical coach in America. To see good guys are winning is exciting. That’s what we want.”