On Saturday, Madison Square Garden hosted a unique doubleheader: two University of Michigan sports teams — Men’s Basketball and Ice Hockey — descended on the Big Apple for back-to-back matches against Penn State. The Wolverines took care of business on the hardwood and the ice, winning both games to the delight of their NYC area fans. The Players’ Tribune spent the day behind the scenes with both teams.
The basketball team walks over to Madison Square Garden from its nearby hotel on the morning prior to the game. John Beilein, head coach of Michigan hoops, brings the team together in the locker room before taking the floor. Michigan cheerleaders pose for pre-game selfie. Sophomore forward Kameron Chatman enjoys the New York spotlight. Sophomore forward Aubrey Dawkins puts on his jersey before tipoff. The starters huddle on the floor before tipoff. Freshman forward D.J. Wilson shoots a three-pointer in the first half. Coach Beilein and the Michigan bench rally the team. Junior forward Mark Donnal pulls down a rebound. The band brings the noise. Sophomore guard Duncan Robinson cheers the crowd as the team seals the victory. Junior guard Derrick Walton Jr. jokes with Mark Donnal after the win. The bench celebrates a late-game score. Madison Square Garden workers change the basketball court over to a hockey rink. Two hours before faceoff, hockey teammates Tony Calderone, Dexter Dancs, Cristoval ‘Boo’ Nieves head to the Garden. Max Shuart, Alex Kile, and Nolan De Jong look on as the ice gets prepped. Junior forward Tyler Motte leads the team in a pre-game stretch. Sophomore forward Niko Porikos warms up with a soccer ball before the game. Players lace up their skates before taking the ice. Junior defenseman Nolan De Jong makes an alteration to his stick before the game. The team takes the ice for the National Anthem. Basketball teammates Kameron Chatman and D.J. Wilson sign autographs for fans during the hockey game. Red Berenson, Michigan’s head hockey coach, addresses the team in the locker room. Senior forward Cristoval Nieves inspects a scrape on JT Compher’s face. Michigan scored four goals in the final period to take the win. Fans revel in the doubleheader sweep. The team celebrates its 6-3 win. Captain JT Compher tallied a goal and an assist in the game. Players relax in the locker room after the win. A team official loads equipment for the trip back to Ann Arbor.