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MARCH MADNESS / NCAA TOURNAMENT

East Regional Notes

March 20, 2001|ERIC STEPHENS

As he prepared to board another jumbo jet Monday for another long plane ride, UCLA forward Jason Kapono already wore a tired look.

That's what happens when you fly home from North Carolina, spend a day and a half studying for a history exam and then wake up for a 7 a.m. practice.

"I think I'll get some sleep," Kapono said from Los Angeles International Airport. "I can sleep on an airplane."

UCLA got into Philadelphia late Monday night and will begin preparation for Thursday night's game against Duke. The Bruins flew home from Greensboro after Saturday's 75-50 second-round victory over Utah State.

Meanwhile, Duke had only to make a short trip back to Durham. But UCLA players favored coming home and said they weren't at a disadvantage.

"It was good to catch up on our business and just relax for a little bit," forward Matt Barnes said. "That's how we wanted it. We're all right with it.

"We're going to sleep all day Tuesday and Wednesday and we'll have our shoot-around. By Thursday night, we'll be fine."

Lavin said the travel schedule won't bother his team.

"You're always concerned, but this is a veteran group that's traveled east throughout their careers," he said. "Over the course of this year, we've gone back to New York, we've played at DePaul, we've gone back to Purdue, we had [last weekend] and then now. We've had a lot of success."

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