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Play-in games can bring disappointment

Jay Bilas dismissed the idea last weekInsider that playing in an opening-round game in the NCAA tournament could be a "stigma" to the team and conference involved.

But the Washington Post's Eric Prisbell uses "stigma" again in describing the tournament's play-in games and points out that three more opening-round matches could be added to the new 68-team format.

And according to the report, coaches who have gone through the round before are concerned.

"They can say what they want, that it is not a play-in game, and they can count the win, which they did, but the perception is that it's a play-in game," (Oakland coach Greg) Kampe said. "The perception is that if you're in that game, you really don't belong in the tournament, you're not in. Even when you win it, you had to win the play-in game to get in."

Morehead State Coach Donnie Tyndall recalled meeting with staff before the tournament selection show to plan how to accentuate the positives if his team was placed in the 2009 opening-round game. Once Morehead State earned the berth, Tyndall saw some disappointment on the faces of players, so he gathered them and said he sort of "brainwashed" them, telling them they get to be on national TV and play before a strong fan contingent. Tyndall attributed the victory in part to the positive attitude.