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UConn faces travel delays; flight to Final Four has several problems: report

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The reigning champion UConn Huskies’ air travel was somewhat limited during the NCAA tournament.

The proximity of the majority of the team’s games likely caused it to travel by bus rather than plane. But this year Final square takes place at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

And UConn experienced turbulence Wednesday before the team even boarded a plane.

UConn coach Dan Hurley told CBS Sports that mechanical issues with a plane were at least partly to blame for a delayed flight. By Wednesday evening, the other three Final Four teams had arrived in Arizona.

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Final Four logo on a stadium

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

The NCAA coordinates travel logistics for teams participating in men’s and women’s tournaments. An incoming flight from Kansas City, Missouri, scheduled to transport the Huskies to Arizona, encountered several problems upon arrival, preventing an on-time departure.

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CBS Sports also reported that logistical issues, including concerns about whether the flight crew would exceed their capabilities FAA Schedules limit, contributed to the delay.

Dan Hurley points

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

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

The Huskies might end up taking a smaller plane, but a plane located in Cinncinati isn’t expected to take off until 12:45 a.m. ET on Thursday. The late departure and smaller size of the plane would result in a 5 a.m. arrival, or 2 a.m. local time, according to UConn officials.

Connecticut Huskies celebrate

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

UConn players are expected to speak to the media Thursday afternoon.

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

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