Duke women's basketball coach Joanne P. McCallie watches her daughter Maddie's Elon team play the first NCAA Tournament game in school history on Friday from a courtside computer during her team's practice at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The 11th-seeded Phoenix were facing sixth-seeded West Virginia in College Park, Maryland. (AP Photo/Joedy McCreary)
You could pardon Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie for being a little preoccupied Friday during practice.
She wanted to watch her daughter play for Elon in the NCAA Tournament.
Maddie McCallie is a guard on the Elon team that won its first Colonial Athletic Association Tournament title and was making its NCAA Tournament debut Friday afternoon against West Virginia.
“It’s tough to balance that,” she said. “Every parent has that feeling sometimes _ am I in the right place? Should I be here? Should I be there? We all feel split.”
— Elon Women's Hoops (@ElonWBasketball) March 14, 2017
The Phoenix tipped off against the Mountaineers at about 2:30 p.m. _ about 20 minutes before Duke’s assigned practice time at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
After her pre-tournament news conference wrapped up, McCallie took a seat in the media room and watched the Elon game on TV, then on a computer screen after ESPN switched its broadcast to another game, for about 15 minutes before heading to the court.
“Believe it or not, I’m going to sneak a computer in practice,” McCallie joked. “Don’t tell anybody. I’m just going to sit behind there and I’m going to keep looking.”
As the above photo proves, she wasn't kidding.
Duke women’s coach Joanne P. McCallie hanging out in the media room to watch Elon (her daughter Maddie’s team) play in the NCAA Tournament. pic.twitter.com/XLPsVgnucn
— Joedy McCreary (@JoedyAP) March 17, 2017
The coach said the rest of her family made the trip to College Park, Maryland, for the Elon game but her teenage son did so while wearing Duke gear _ a risky move at Maryland, which fancied itself one of Duke’s rivals before leaving the ACC for the Big Ten.
“I tried to warn him about that,” she quipped.
The McCallie mother-daughter connection is one of the more intriguing storylines in this year’s tournament.
Joanne’s Duke team earned the No. 2 seed in the Bridgeport Regional while Maddie’s Phoenix were the No. 11 seed in that bracket _ creating the possiblility of Mom and daughter crossing paths again in the Sweet 16.
They’ve already faced each other once, with Duke claiming a 68-61 victory over Elon on Dec. 8.
“When you follow a team that closely, your daughter’s or son’s, you love them all,” McCallie said. “You really know all the players, you get to get excited about all the players. It grows and grows.”
Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter @JoedyAP