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Tuesday March 25, 2014 Gators 'hunker' down in land of Elvis

Updated: 8:27am, March 26

Will and Pat on plane

Florida seniors Patric Young, left, and Will Yeguete prepare to board plane for Memphis.

The Hunker MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The team’s chartered flight from Gainesville bolted around 4:15 p.m. and landed here around 5:30 p.m. local time.

After the plane was unloaded and buses were loaded -- with team, support staff, families, cheerleaders, pep band, etc. -- police escorted a caravan of the No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Florida Gators to their home base for the next several days.

The historic and landmark Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis.

Yes, the place with the ducks.

No, the Gators did not see the famous lobby duck march to the elevator. They missed it by an hour or so, but the little critters will be back in the morning. 

In the interim, the UF basketball team went right to work. First, the Gators ate dinner together, with the players getting a couple hours afterward to relax while the coaching staff huddled in “the hunker” -- the nickname for the hotel suite where they study tape this time of year -- and further broke down the UCLA Bruins, their opponent in Thursday night’s NCAA South Region Sweet 16 game at FedEx Forum.

Elvis At 9 p.m., the entire team met again to crunch some more UCLA tape.

The Gators will practice at a local church Wednesday morning, before heading to the Forum for their media responsibilities an hour-long open shoot-around in the arena.

As for the rest of the traveling party?

Can you say ribs at Rendezvous? Music on Beale Street? Or Graceland?

Thank you, thank you very much.

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