CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Anticipation can be a strange thing.
Waiting for something to come, good or bad, happy or sad, you can be filled with joy or drowned in dread.
For Harvard on Sunday, there was no question -- something good (a berth in the Big Dance) was coming. But as the names were ticked off and the lines of the bracket filled up, bit by bit, the feeling built.
When will our name be called? Where will we go? Who will we play?
After all those questions finally had been answered (at approximately 6:32 p.m. ET; Salt Lake City; New Mexico Lobos), Harvard coach Tommy Amaker told a story that showed the wait had weighed on them all.
As the coach and four of his players -- cocaptains Christian Webster and Laurent Rivard, and young stars Wesley Saunders and Siyani Chambers -- climbed the Murr Center stairs on their way to the post-selection show news conference, Amaker had a question for his still-giddy guys.
“Did you guys think they forgot about us?” the coach asked.
“They seemed to be very confident that we were going to get our name called,” Amaker said, with a smile.
Confident or not, the wait felt just as long for them as it did for the fans who gathered to cheer them on.
“I mean, it was nerve-wracking to wait that long to hear our names called,” Saunders said. “But after it was called, it was a great relief. It was just a culmination of all the hard work that all of us have put together, and [of] just overcoming all the obstacles that we faced this year. It was a great feeling.”
One worth waiting for.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.