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UConn team bus burglarized during practice at UNLV

Updated March 24, 2023 - 4:15 pm

With the bad luck UConn has encountered in Las Vegas, it’s probably a good thing the team can’t hit the casino floor.

The latest incident occurred Wednesday when some of the team’s items were lifted from their team bus.

“I can confirm that while we were at practice Wednesday at UNLV, items were taken from our bus,” team spokesman Philip Chardis said in a statement. “We are not going to go into specifics and beyond that we will have no comment.”

The incident marked the second issue for the team since its arrival in Las Vegas Tuesday ahead of the NCAA West Regional.

Tuesday night the team was forced to shift hotels after their originally booked rooms were deemed unsuitable. UConn ended up at Resorts World, where a grand sendoff was set up Thursday for the Huskies, ahead of their 88-65 thrashing of the Arkansas Razorbacks at T-Mobile Arena.

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Steve Hill said nobody involved was happy about the hotel situation, but noted “Vegas is a place that can recover from that,” as made evident with the quick hotel switch.

The LVCVA wasn’t available Friday for comment on the reported theft.

“Yeah, it really hasn’t been that bad,” UConn coach Dan Hurley said. “We’ve had some minor inconveniences that we’re not even thinking about because we’re so joyful about being in Vegas and playing, having an opportunity to go to the Final Four.”

His players echoed those sentiments.

“We all know what matters the most,” said junior guard Andre Jackson. “Off-court stuff and distractions don’t really matter when it comes down to it. We came to Vegas to win basketball games. Everything else is insignificant.”

Said freshman forward Alex Karaban: “It was unexpected. That’s not what you want when you first get to Vegas. It was a whirlwind and not pleasant, but we came here to win two games and then go on to Houston. If it didn’t affect basketball, then we were able to get by it quickly.”

How bad was the initial hotel, which UConn has not identified.

“It was not pleasant,” Karaban added. “Nasty. Just not what you want to live in. (Resorts World) is an amazing hotel. They’ve treated us very nice.”

Although the off-the-court issues may have the team ready to get out of town, it still has business to tend to on the court. UConn on Saturday will face Gonzaga at T-Mobile Arena in the Elite Eight, with a trip to the Final Four in Houston on the line.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

Review-Journal staff writers Ed Graney and Adam Hill contributed to this report.

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