Number 1 seed Villanova heads to Buffalo

by Susan Rose

NCAA Teams Alter Travel Plans

A different form of March Madness!

March 13, 2017 - 6:04 pm

Buffalo, NY (AP/WBEN) - Teams chasing a college basketball title are contending with some last minute travel glitches.  A fierce storm is bearing down on the Northeast, creating blizzard-like conditions in some places. 

Villanova, the top overall seed in the Men's NCAA tournament, left Philadelphia Monday afternoon for Buffalo to get ahead of the storm.  The defending champion Wildcats, who play on Thursday, had an abbreviated press availability with coach Jay Wright, as the team rushed to its flight. 

"I'm not looking forward to leaving right away.  But it hits you with reality, you're in it," Wright said.  "We're going to be in Buffalo tonight and we're playing, and it's on." 

U.S. airlines canceled thousands of flights for Monday and Tuesday in anticipation of the storm. 

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins was delayed getting on the Big 12 coaches media call Monday afternoon because he was in a meeting with school officials to discuss the Mountaineers' travel plans to Buffalo. 

The school later announced it would take a bus Monday night, rather than Tuesday for the 280 mile journey to Buffalo. West Virginia plays Thursday afternoon against Bucknell at KeyBank Center. 

Virginia Tech also opted to leave Monday, a day earlier than planned.  The Hokies would take a bus to Roanoke and fly to Buffalo. They play Thursday night against Wisconsin. 

Officials at Buffalo Niagara Airport are being accomodating as possible.  Douglas Hartmeyer, spokesman for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority says "We have a history of being prepared and keeping those runways open and safe."

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