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Apr 3, 2024 11:05 pm

UConn, grounded by plane issues, will be late arrival to Final Four

UConn

No. 1 UConn encountered travel delays on Wednesday and is scheduled to be the last of the Final Four teams to touch down in Phoenix.

An adjusted itinerary puts the Huskies in Arizona only hours before media availability and open practice on Thursday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

First scheduled to depart Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET for Phoenix, the defending national champions were anticipating arriving 11 hours later.

“Due to mechanical issues with the original aircraft, UConn men’s basketball team is experiencing a delay and is now projected to depart at approximately 11:30 p.m. ET,” the NCAA said in a statement to Stadium. “In conjunction with the school and charter airlines, the NCAA worked to develop several options for travel alternatives to Phoenix. We are very disappointed that UConn will arrive later than anticipated and it’s unfortunate the team’s travel experience has been impacted.”

UConn coach Danny Hurley confirmed the delay of the team charter to CBS Sports on Wednesday night.

NC State arrived Wednesday night, one day behind Purdue and UConn’s Final Four opponent, Alabama.

Because of the pending arrival of the Huskies, an adjusted schedule for Thursday was under consideration.

The original aircraft scheduled to be flown from Kansas City never got off the ground because of mechanical issues and crew scheduling conflicts, per CBS.

A smaller charter was secured from a different location, but that caused significant modifications to the size of the traveling party with the Huskies. According to multiple reports, the arrival time of the plane would be roughly 5 a.m. ET. That could include a stop to refuel due to the size of the plane.

The NCAA coordinates travel for teams to the Final Four site.

This is the first time UConn (35-3) was required to travel by plane in the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

The Huskies were transported by bus to the first- and second-round site in New York and to the regional semifinal and final in Boston last week.

–Field Level Media

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