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Michigan basketball team stands for national anthem vs. Illinois at Big Ten Tournament

New details, perspective on Michigan basketball’s plane accident, Devin Asiasi makes a choice and more …

Kevin Goheen

Wake up University of Michigan fans and welcome to Breakfast of Victors, Land of 10’s daily morning briefing of Wolverines athletics. We’ll get your weekdays started with all the latest Michigan news, notes and insights. Our goal is to bring you closer to the Maize-and-Blue, your favorite school.

Today is Friday, March 10, and here’s your Breakfast of Victors …


New details of just what Michigan’s basketball team went through Wednesday continue to be revealed. Its charter flight to Washington, D.C., for the Big Ten Tournament had to abort its takeoff and then skidded off the runway, forcing the evacuation of the 109 passengers on board plus the crew.

Each new story is stunning and brings into greater perspective the danger everyone on board dealt with.

Michigan head coach John Beilein attempted to put the situation into the context of how people deal with a crisis in their daily lives.

“It wasn’t about being emotional or what’s happening. It’s going to be ‘How can we get everybody off this plane?’ ” said Beilein after his team’s 75-55 win against Illinois on Thursday. “The engine’s still running, there’s gas fumes coming on everybody, and when the engine finally shut down, there was this big pop. I said ‘Oh, my goodness.’ But everybody was away from the plane and we were good.

“So, I don’t think there was anything other than like a game situation or what everybody does in their workday when they’re in a crisis. They don’t stop and cry and get emotional. They try to find, what’s the answer? What’s the solution to this issue we’re involved in?”

Land of 10’s Sean Keeler tells the tale of how “survive and advance” has a new meaning for Michigan.

Fellow Land of 10 writer Corey Masisak tracked down Dan Dakich, the ESPN analyst who two weeks ago walked out onto the Crisler Center court with son Andrew on senior day.

Steve Kornacki of MGoBlue.com was on the plane.

Brendan F. Quinn of MLive.com tells of how Beilein gave his players the choice of traveling on Thursday or staying home.

There are more stories out there, each providing detail and context beyond what a breaking news story or 140-character Twitter burst allows. The perspective is the same. As Beilein said at halftime against Illinois:

Asiasi to UCLA, father praises Harbaugh and UM

Former Michigan tight end Devin Asiasi has found his way back to the West Coast. Asiasi, a California native who last month decided to transfer from Michigan, is headed to UCLA. The school tweeted out the announcement on Thursday, as did Asiasi.

The loss of senior Jake Butt would have meant a greater role in Michigan’s offense next season for Asiasi alongside senior-to-be Ian Bunting. Zach Gentry and Tyrone Wheatley Jr., who will be juniors next season, now get better opportunities at the position.

Dave Asiasi, Devin’s father, expressed his gratitude to Michigan and head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Chad Tough

Beilein and Matt Painter’s Michigan and Purdue basketball teams face off Friday afternoon in a quarterfinal game at the Big Ten Tournament in Washington, D.C. Beilein and Painter are also going head-to-head for good causes.

The Infinity Coaches Charity Challenge, sponsored by ESPN, is in its second year of helping college basketball coaches raise money for their favorite charity through fan voting. Michigan fans pushed Beilein and the Chad Tough Foundation http://www.chadtough.org/ to a win in last year’s inaugural contest.

Voting for the contest this year ends at 2:59 p.m. ET on Saturday. As of Friday morning, Beilein held a slight advantage over Painter, 45 percent to 44 percent. Bob Huggins (9 percent) and Thad Matta (1 percent) were well back in the voting.

Breakfast links

  • Nine members of the track and field teams – four men and five women – will compete in this weekend’s NCAA national indoor meet at Texas A&M. Junior Erin Finn carries the No. 2 seed into the women’s 5,000 meters final, while the men are led by junior weight thrower Grant Cartwright.
  • Seniors Allie Murphy and Keegan McCaffrey finished eighth and ninth, respectively, in the 3-meter springboard event at the NCAA Zone C diving championships Thursday to qualify for the national meet.
  • Women’s gymnastics is tied for the Big Ten lead with a 4-1 dual-meet record. The No. 11 Wolverines compete at Iowa on Saturday in the Big Five meet with a chance to solidify that spot.