UConn faces March Madness travel disaster to reach Final Four

College basketball

The UConn Huskies are dealing with serious travel issues that could keep them from arriving in Arizona until the early hours of Thursday morning.

The UConn men's basketball team currently does not have a plane to fly to Phoenix due to logistical and mechanical issues, CBS Sports' Matt Norlander first reported Wednesday It was later confirmed by the NCAA.

The team's original flight was supposed to fly from Kansas City, but the delay led to mounting problems, one of which was that the flight crew on the flight from Kansas City would have exceeded the hours allowed by the FAA and would not be able to immediately return around for travel. To Phoenix.

Donovan Clingan and the Huskies are facing some major travel delays to reach the Final Four. AP

While there were fears that their first flight would not take off until after midnight, ESPN Peter Thamel The NCAA now says their flight is expected to depart around 11:30 PM ET and arrive in Phoenix at around 2 AM ET.

UConn head coach Dan Hurley originally told Norlander that the closest the Huskies would be able to get to Arizona wouldn't be until 5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. CT, just a few hours before media availability on Thursday.

In order for the team to make this happen, they had to take a smaller plane out of Cincinnati that required fuel stops along the way in order to reach their final destination and other charter airlines originally had no availability. The next five hours Norlander reported.

This misfortune has put UConn in a strange and less-than-ideal position heading into the Final Four.

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Alabama and Purdue arrived on Tuesday, along with NC State I arrived in Phoenix Earlier on Wednesday.

UConn coach Dan Hurley calls on his players during the first half of an Elite 8 college basketball game against Illinois
UConn coach Dan Hurley calls on his players during the Elite 8 win over Illinois. AP

Initially, it appeared the Huskies' two options were to either take the flight that departs after midnight or their original plane out of Kansas City, which would not be able to fly until 10 a.m. Thursday due to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations with the crew.

That was until the 11:30pm flight became available.

“In collaboration with schools and charter airlines, the NCAA has worked to develop several options for travel alternatives to Phoenix,” the NCAA said in a statement. “We are very disappointed that UConn will be arriving later than expected and it is unfortunate that the team’s travel experience has been affected.”

UConn's Final Four game against Alabama doesn't take place until Saturday night at 8:49 PM ET, which still gives the Huskies plenty of time to get to Phoenix.




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