Zion Williamson impresses crowd at NCAA tournament practice

It was a pretty hilarious moment inside the arena today.

Duke was running fullcourt layup drills and it was Zion's turn to go. He caught the ball, cut towards the hoop...and layed it up.

The crowd groaned, and there were even some boos.

And it happened again.

The dismay in the air was palpable. These people came to see the show, not fundamentals!

Zion eventually obliged, throwing down a couple of his uniquely thunderous sledgehammer jams. The reaction was predictable. Oooohs, ahhhhs and applause. The sounds of an arena that would leave satisfied.

It's because of Williamson's unmatched charisma on and off the court that even the most dyed in the wool Duke haters are having trouble conjuring up dislike for this group.

Sure, they may still "despise" Coach K, or their imagined version of him, but the team, and Zion? That's a tougher ask.

Zion played dumb in the locker room today initially when asked about that dynamic, but then in his inimitable style, beamed and said "Thanks!" It was a sentiment aimed at the fans whose hatred has been softened by their enjoyment of his skills.

RJ Barrett is enjoying the attention as well, but as a trained basketball killer by nature, he would definitely be just fine if the Blue Devils were routinely rained with boos.

He knew the hate when he signed; it was part of the appeal.

"Bring it on," he said.

Alas - not sure he'll get to feel that undistilled menace.

Not as long as his best friend Z keeps making everyone smile and gaze in wonder.
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