BOSTON, MA -- Today was open practice day for each of the four teams participating in the East Regional. Each had an hour of practice, free and open to the public, held at TD Banknorth Garden. I happened to catch the last half of Pitt's practice and all of Duke's.
Matt Beck put it best when he called it "a waste of time for the team".
Because it was an open to everyone, clearly the teams weren't going to run an actual practice and reveal any strategies for their upcoming games. In reality, this was a glorified shootaround, like what we watch our team do in the hour before tipoff of a game. They did run some drills that were pretty cool to watch; then again there were other parts that weren't so pretty (mainly, Brian Zoubek dribbling and sprinting baseline-to-baseline in an end of game scenario).
Even so, it was fun. It was obvious that the teams weren't taking this too seriously -- at the end of Pitt's practice, the players lined up at the halfcourt line and practiced "buzzer beaters". At the end of Duke's practice, the players turned to the 1,000-or-so fans in attendance and threw out free Duke Basketball t-shirts.
Good stuff. Tomorrow is a big day. Go Devils!!