April 19, 2024

UConn Men’s CBB Delayed Traveling to Final Four amid Mechanical Issues with Plane | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors


BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MARCH 30: Head coach Dan Hurley of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates after defeating the Illinois Fighting Illini in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at TD Garden on March 30, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The NCAA announced on Wednesday evening that the UConn’s men’s basketball team will be departing for Arizona at 11:30 p.m. ET after their original aircraft—which was set to depart earlier in the day—was unable to fly do to mechanical issues.

Gavin Keefe @GavinKeefe

The NCAA released a statement regarding UConn’s travel issues <a href=”https://t.co/hAtfVuob36″>pic.twitter.com/hAtfVuob36</a>

Head coach Dan Hurley told Matt Norlander of CBS Sports that the plane expected to take UConn across the country was going to Connecticut from Kansas City but never made it due to mechanical issues.

As Norlander noted, “After scouring all backup plans and planes, UConn’s earliest option to get to the Final Four is via a smaller plane (that would still bring the entire team and staff), but it isn’t scheduled to take off from Bradley Airport until sometime around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday night—which was bumped up more than an hour from the earlier contingency plan.”

That means that the Huskies won’t arrive in Phoenix until around 4 a.m. ET on Thursday morning.

Norlander also noted that the Huskies would “have to trim its travel party, per a UConn source, but will still be a flight time decision as far as refueling” depending on the overall weight. It’s also possible the smaller plane may need to make a fuel stop before Phoenix, though the Huskies are still expected to arrive in time for Thursday’s media availability in the afternoon.

Alabama and Purdue already arrived on Tuesday, while NC State reached Phoenix on Wednesday afternoon. The Huskies will face Alabama on Saturday at 8:49 p.m. ET.

The NCAA is responsible for the travel arrangements for both the men’s and women’s NCAA tournament.

It hasn’t been a banner week for the organization. Over the weekend at the women’s tournament, the three-point lines at the Moda Center in Portland were not uniform, with one about nine inches closer to the basket than the other.

Nicole Auerbach @NicoleAuerbach

Gender equity = issues also popping up in the men’s tournament! <a href=”https://t.co/LQNGUDCkgx”>https://t.co/LQNGUDCkgx</a>

The issue wasn’t noticed until ahead of the matchup between Texas and North Carolina State at the Elite Eight.

“The NCAA was notified (Sunday) that the 3-point lines on the court at Moda Center in Portland are not the same distance,” the NCAA’s vice president of women’s basketball, Lynn Holzman, said in a statement. “The NCAA staff and women’s basketball committee members on site consulted with the two head coaches who were made aware of the discrepancy. All parties elected to play a complete game on the court as is, rather than correcting the court and delaying the game.”





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