UConn faces travel delays; flight to Final Four has multiple issues: report

April 4, 2024
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The defending champion UConn Huskies’ air travel has been somewhat limited during the NCAA Tournament. 

The proximity of the majority of the team’s games likely had it traveling by bus instead of by air. But this year’s Final Four is being held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. 

And UConn ran into some turbulence Wednesday even before the team boarded a plane.

UConn coach Dan Hurley told CBS Sports mechanical issues with an aircraft were at least partly responsible for a delayed flight. As of Wednesday evening, the other three teams in the Final Four had arrived in Arizona.

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Final Four logo on a stadium

Workers install logos on the exterior of State Farm Stadium in preparation for the Final Four April 6-8, 2024 in Glendale, Ariz. (Michael Chow-Arizona Republic)

The NCAA coordinates travel logistics for teams playing in both the men’s and women’s tournaments. An incoming flight from Kansas City, Missouri, scheduled to carry the Huskies to Arizona experienced multiple issues upon its arrival, which prevented an on-time departure.

FINAL FOUR POWER RANKINGS: HOW EACH TEAM STACKS UP HEADING INTO NCAA TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS

CBS Sports also reported that logistical issues, including concerns whether the flight crew would surpass its FAA hours limit, contributed to the delay.

Dan Hurley points

UConn head coach Dan Hurley yells calls during the second half of a game against Providence March 9, 2024, in Providence, R.I.  (AP Photo/Mark Stockwell)

As of 7:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, the airline was unable to assign an alternative flight crew for UConn’s flight to Arizona.

The Huskies could end up taking a smaller jet, but a plane located in Cinncinati would not be scheduled to depart until 12:45 a.m. ET Thursday. The late departure and smaller plane size would result in a 5 a.m. arrival, which would be 2 a.m. local time, according to UConn officials.

Connecticut Huskies celebrate

Donovan Clingan of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates with his teammates after defeating the Illinois Fighting Illini in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament at TD Garden March 30, 2024, in Boston.  (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

UConn players are scheduled to address the media Thursday afternoon.

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N.C. State is scheduled to play Purdue in the first game of the men’s Final Four April 6. UConn and Alabama play the second game of the evening at 8:49 p.m. ET.

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