INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 11: Adreian Payne #5 of the Michigan State Spartans dunks against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Final Game of the 2012 Big Ten Men's Conference Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 11, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
With the double championship in the nation's strongest conference and nine RPI top 25 wins, our case for a 1 seed is a strong one. The sheer number of losses could be a negative factor, but Kansas only has one fewer, four fewer top 25 wins, and failed to "do the double"; Missouri's non-conference schedule was an abomination, and North Carolina has half as many top 25 wins. I don't think more than one will be placed ahead of us.
The locations of the 1 seeds is an interesting debate: where Kentucky (the overall #1, most likely) goes may be decided by who is #3. Kentucky is virtually equidistant from Atlanta and St. Louis, and presumed #2 Syracuse will be in Boston. If #3 is North Carolina, they would prefer Atlanta, so Kentucky would probably go to St. Louis; if the #3 is Kansas or us, Kentucky will go to Atlanta and the #3 will be in St. Louis. If we are in St. Louis, our #2 seed will likely be Kansas (if they do not get the fourth 1 seed) or Missouri (if Kansas does). If we are out west in Phoenix, who knows? If the third #1 seed is Kansas, Missouri would probably get pushed out west with us; if it's North Carolina, one of Kansas and Missouri will probably join us out west while the other sits in the Midwest with Kentucky.
In the unlikely event that we get a 2 seed, the question becomes one of bracket balance (S-Curve) versus preferred location. If the #3 overall is Kansas, we're almost certainly in the Midwest with them; if it's North Carolina, Kentucky will be in the Midwest and putting us with them would skew the S-Curve with #1 and #5 there (the committee does try to keep it reasonably balanced, although a perfect 1-8, 4-5, 2-7, 3-6 is not necessary). We might get pushed out west instead with presumed #4 Kansas for balance reasons, or wind up in Atlanta with North Carolina (less travel, still reasonable balance).
My guess: #1 in St. Louis, with Missouri as the #2. Kansas out west as the #1 with OSU out there, UNC in Boston with Syracuse, Duke with Kentucky in Atlanta. Your thoughts, and the selection show rundown, here.