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“It makes me look like the saddest guy in L.A.,” he said. “People think I bought the wrong hat _ like I meant to buy a Kansas hat or something.”



If you stayed up for play-in games both nights, you heard a lot about teams wandering in the wilderness. That’s because this year, four teams that have gone at least 18 seasons between appearances in the tournament finally made it _ Middle Tennessee (24), La Salle (21), James Madison (19), North Carolina A&T (18). That got the folks at STATS wondering whether it was a debutante-like record.

Nope. It’s actually happened at least four times since 1980, including 2012, when Harvard led a quartet of the long-suffering into the NCAAs after missing out for a dizzying 66 years.



“She’s still got a credit card with my name on it,” _ Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, whose team plays Montana in the opening-round game, on whether he’s worried that his daughter, a former teacher at the university who still lives in Missoula, might have divided loyalties.


Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke(at) and follow him at Litke.