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What will MSU possibly be seeded in the NCAA Tournament? Here's what experts say

March 14, 2021
The MSU basketball team gathers during a timeout in the Big Ten basketball tournament during a game against Maryland on March 11, 2020.
The MSU basketball team gathers during a timeout in the Big Ten basketball tournament during a game against Maryland on March 11, 2020. —
Photo by Alyte Katilius | The State News

Following the conclusion of conference tournaments everywhere, including the Big Ten's final match between Ohio State and Illinois set to tipoff today at 3:30 p.m., will be Selection Sunday.

Last year, fans were left with a disappointing hole in their March schedules as the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports and much more.

This year, because the coronavirus pandemic is still going on, though things have seemed to get a little more under control, March Madness has been given a green light.

What's different?

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.

The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee adopted new bracketing principles, effective only for the 2021 championship, as a result of the new venue.

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.

The Spartans fell to the Maryland Terrapins in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament, 68-57.

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Lunardi has VCU listed in the South region as the No. 11 seed, playing No. 6 seed USC first.

CBS Bracketologist Jerry Palm has made the claim that Michigan State is the only one in Lunardi's group of four that isn't going to be "sweating it out" tonight.

Fox Sports College Hoops Bracketologist Mike Decourcy also has the Spartans listed as the No. 11 seed, but in the Midwest region playing No. 6 seed Oregon first.

The KenPom has MSU listed at No. 56 overall. Their record is 15-12, 9-11 Big Ten.

The Capital One March Madness Bracket Challenge opens today at 7 p.m. Fans can print off their own blank bracket sheet to place bets or simply follow along, here.

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