Press Break The Post's Rundown of Local and National College Basketball
News Feed - April 3, 2009

Today's public practices have just begun, and Michigan State has just taken the court. If today is any indication, the Spartans will enjoy an unsurprising partisan advantage here in Detroit. Today's sessions, which are free to the public, have drawn a decent crowd, 90 percent of which is clad in green and white. I'm terrible at estimating crowds, but I'd guess there are at least 15,000 people here (which doesn't look like that much in a 70,000-seat building), and more are streaming in. How many of the people who are here for free today actually have tickets to tomorrow's games obviously can't be determined.

Large faux highway signs ("Road" to the Final Four, get it?) are hanging here inside the stadium, and they indicate the advantage Michigan State has. They display the number of miles each campus is from Detroit and it breaks down thus:

Michigan State ............92 mi
Villanova......................572 mi
North Carolina.............701 mi
Connecticut..................746 mi

Michigan State has played in this building before (losing to North Carolina in December) but never before a full house (tomorrow's crowd is expected to break the NCAA record). Spartans Coach Tom Izzo acknowledged yesterday that this was a unique opportunity for his team.

"They're going to get to play in front of 70,000 people; even the pros don't get to do that," Izzo said. "So I would expect them to take a look around. But if they take too long a look, I'll kill them."

By Matthew Rennie  |  April 3, 2009; 12:11 PM ET
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