The First Four teams are set to tipoff at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 18 at both Mackey Arena and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
The tournament as a whole will be held in the state of Indiana in several different locations. Along with the two mentioned above, there will be games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum and two courts inside Lucas Oil Stadium.
Typically, the participating schools' geographic proximity to the sites hosting preliminary rounds largely drives the decisions. However, this time the bracket will be mostly, if not fully, determined by the overall seed list or the committee's ranking of the 68 participating schools.
The method they are following is commonly referred to as the S-curve, which will entail putting the top four teams on the seed list in the four separate regions. From there, that's where things start to adjust and adapt.
As explained on the NCAA website:
"The overall No. 5 seed will be placed in the same region as the overall No. 4. The overall No. 6 will be placed with the overall No. 3. The overall No. 7 seed will be paired with the overall No. 2, and the overall No. 8 will be in the same region as the top-seeded team. The next step would be to place the third-seeded teams, with the overall No. 9 seed joining the Nos. 1 and 8 seeds in one region, the No. 10 seed being placed with the Nos. 2 and 7 seeds, the No. 11 seed going to the same region as the Nos. 3 and 6 seeds, and the No. 12 seed joining the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds. The first quadrant of tournament teams is completed by placing the fourth-seeded teams in each region as follows: the overall No. 13 with Nos. 4, 5 and 12; No. 14 with Nos. 3, 6 and 11; No. 15 with Nos. 2, 7 and 10; and No. 16 with Nos. 1, 8 and 9. The process repeats itself for teams seeded 5-16, using the overall seed list to place teams in their respective regions."
The entire bracket will be announced at 6 p.m., March 14 on CBS. There will be 37 at-large selections and 31 automatic qualifiers.
Predictions for the Michigan State Spartans
ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has predicted that MSU will be one of the last four byes, as of 1:30 a.m. on Selection Sunday alongside Maryland, VCU and UCLA.