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UConn men’s basketball team eventually arrives in Arizona after nightmare journey to Final Four

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

If you were to think of the best ways to prepare for the Final Four, this certainly wouldn’t be it.

The University of Connecticut (UConn) men’s basketball team experienced a nightmare journey to the NCAA tournament semifinals in Glendale, Arizona, one that involved lengthy delays and mechanical problems with two of their planes.

After being stuck for hours on end, a spokesperson for UConn told CNN that the team had eventually departed at 1:33 a.m. ET on Thursday and landed at 3:12 a.m. local time (6:12 a.m. ET) in Arizona.

The team later posted on social media confirming the news, writing: “Touched down in Phoenix.”

The arduous journey began on Wednesday, when the NCAA confirmed the defending champions had been facing delays due to “mechanical issues with the original aircraft.”

On Thursday, once the team had landed, the NCAA also revealed that the replacement aircraft had “experienced an additional two-hour delay due to weather in Connecticut and a minor mechanical issue which was resolved by the onboard mechanic.”

It added: “The delays were the result of an unfortunate set of circumstances.”

The Huskies, the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, face the University of Alabama Crimson Tide at State Farm Stadium on Saturday evening.

The other three schools in the Final Four – Alabama, North Carolina State University and Purdue University all arrived in Arizona before UConn touched down.

CNN’s Jacob Lev and Jill Martin contributed reporting.

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