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March 17, 2013

Where will they go?

We'll all know a little after 6 p.m. ET tonight but always fun to speculate where your favorite team may be headed for the NCAA tournament. In Indiana's case the emphasis is on where since it seems likely that the Hoosiers will land a No. 1 seed.

There is some added drama, however, thanks to Indiana's loss yesterday to Wisconsin coupled with Louisville's Big East tournament title run. The two may be competing for the prize of getting to potentially play near home in the Regional rounds as the No. 1 seed in the Midwest. That region will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Here are all four of those regional locations where the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games will be played:

East (Washington D.C.)
Midwest (Indianapolis)
South (Dallas)
West (Los Angeles)

Here's a look at the latest from four major media outlets along with one from of our own local bracketologists, Indiana University professor Dr. Galen Clavio. Those are published regularly on the CrimsonCast.com site.

Bracketology Outlet ESPN CBS Sports NBC Sports Fox Sports Crimson Cast
Seed for Indiana No. 1 No. 1 No. 1 No. 1 No. 1
Region East Midwest Midwest Midwest Midwest
Early Round Location Dayton Dayton Dayton Dayton Dayton
Early Round Game Days Fri/Sun Fri/Sun Fri/Sun Fri/Sun Fri/Sun
Regional Location Washington DC Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis
Regional Game Days Thu/Sat Fri/Sun Fri/Sun Fri/Sun Fri/Sun
Potential Opponents: -- -- -- -- --
- Round of 64 Albany/Liberty Southern/Liberty Liberty/James Madison Liberty/NC A&T Liberty/W. Kentucky
- Round of 32 #8 Colorado St/#9 Cincinnati #8 Memphis/#9 Cincinnati #8 Oregon/#9 Memphis #8 San Diego St/#9 Temple #8 Memphis,/#9 Colorado
- Round of 16 #4 Marquette/ #5 Oklahoma St #4 Kansas St/#5 St. Louis #4 Marquette/#5 St. Louis #4 Syracuse/#5 Oklahoma St #4 Kansas St/#5 Notre Dame
- Round of 8 #2 Georgetown/#3 Florida #2 Georgetown/#3 Florida #2 Georgetown/#3 Florida #2 Miami-FL/#3 Florida #2 Miami/#3 Georgetown

If fan support or travel costs are a concern, the move by Joe Lunardi of ESPN to project Indiana to the East region has to be a concern. He does seem to be in the minority on this call but this USA Today projection just published this morning (and too late for our chart) seconds that prediction.

As far as potential opponents, Indiana as a No. 1 seed will likely bring about a first for Hoosier fans-- watching a Tuesday "play-in" between Indiana's two potential opponents. That's why you see two teams listed in each case for the Round of 64 opponent.

Some quick notes on the commonality of potential opponents:

Round of 64 - Liberty was a consensus pick here. The Flames will probably be an underdog in the Tuesday play-in as they were a surprise winner of the Big South tournament as a No. 5 seed after going just 6-10 in that league and 15-20 overall. Of the potential round of 64 opponents listed above, Albany (24-10, 9-7) is the highest in the Pomeroy and Sagarin rankings but the Great Danes did not even finish among the top four teams in the regular season in the America East.

Round of 32 - Multiple predictions each for Cincinnati and Memphis. While the Tigers play in a weak Conference USA, Memphis has some major talent and has already won 30 games this year.

Round of 16 - Big 12 programs Kansas State and Oklahoma State were both picked twice here. Former Illinois coach Bruce Weber has once again jumped into a new job and had immediate success. Oklahoma State is formidable thanks to perhaps the nation's top freshman in Marcus Smart. With Smart, Markel Brown and Le'Bryan Nash, you have about as talented a trio as there is in the country. Obviously Tom Crean's first game against his old Marquette program would be a much hyped regional semifinal. A No. 4 seed seems awfully low for a team that shared the Big East regular season title with Louisville and Georgetown. St. Louis was also projected twice and the Billikens could be dangerous here because they play a lot like Wisconsin. Butler coach Brad Stevens has even pumped them as a national title contender after his Bulldogs were beaten for the third time yesterday by Jim Crews' team.

Round of 8 - We focused on the 2/3 seeds here to keep things simple. Only three teams in total were even projected here -- Georgetown, Florida and Miami-FL. Of course Indiana went to overtime with the Hoyas back in November. Florida is loved by the computer rankings. Pomeroy has the Gators the top overall team and Sagarin has them No. 2 overall. Miami earned the No. 2 seed by winning the ACC outright including some impressive blowout wins over Duke and North Carolina. The Hurricanes are a bit like Indiana in that they have stumbled a couple times here down the stretch and that has many questioning whether they haven't peaked at the right time. A win today over the Tar Heels may change that view.

Tourney contest

We'll be publishing information in the next few hours on how to enter our annual Peegs' Tourney Pick'em contest. Check back on the front page this afternoon for those details.

To help you analyze your brackets, don't miss tonight's Yahoo's Tourney Bracket Live Show. It will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET

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