March Madness: UConn said items were stolen off team bus ahead of Sweet 16 game in Las Vegas
UConn rolled past Arkansas 88-65 on Thursday night to reach the Elite Eight
UConn had no issue on the court on Thursday night.
Their off-court experience in Las Vegas, however, has been a very different story.
The Huskies, who rolled past Arkansas 88-65 to reach the Elite Eight on Thursday night, had to switch hotels in Las Vegas before the game due to poor room conditions. Then, after a practice at the Thomas & Mack Center just off the strip, the team realized that several items were missing from the team bus.
“Disaster,” coach Dan Hurley said after Thursday’s game, via CT Insider. “Then stuff gets stolen. It was a debacle.
“Obviously when you play at UConn, you have tremendous resources. The way we travel gives us a chance to pursue championships. It wasn’t what you expected when you got to Las Vegas for the Sweet 16. We didn’t know there would be police reports from day one. We didn’t know we’d be moving with our tails between our legs back into the hotel just to get our bags and leave. It was an awkward situation. But now we’re in a much better place.”
Multiple players and staff members had items stolen off the team bus while the team was practicing, per the report. Athletic director David Benedict said they filed a police report over the incident, and that an investigation is ongoing.
It’s unclear how many players and staff members had items stolen, or what those items were. Freshman Donovan Clingan said his iPad was stolen, and that he used an app on his phone to track it down.
“We were practicing at UNLV and my backpack was on the bus. I remember leaving my backpack on the bus, on the seat,” Clingan said, via CT Insider. “I came back, it’s opened up. They didn’t take my Beats [headphones]. They didn’t take my laptop. But my iPad was gone.”
But despite the terrible room conditions and the alleged theft, the Huskies dominated Arkansas to reach the Elite Eight for the first time since their title run in 2014. The win was their third double-digit victory in as many games so far in the tournament.
They’ll take on Gonzaga on Saturday night with a spot in the Final Four on the line. Gonzaga narrowly beat UCLA in a thriller in the other Sweet 16 game in Las Vegas on Thursday.