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NCAA Tournament: MSU opens with Valpo in Midwest region

Jonathan Daniel

The bracket is out, and MSU is a No. 3 seed opening in Auburn Hills, as expected.

They will play Valpo in the opening round. Brandon Wood is probably torn. No. 6 seed Memphis will play the winner of a First Four game between Middle Tennessee State and Saint Mary's. MSU is in the Midwest (Indianapolis) regional, where the No. 1 seed is Louisville and the No. 2 seed is Duke, whom many thought would be a No. 1 seed.

I don't know a ton about any of these teams yet, but, while the region is loaded, my early impression is that MSU's route to the Elite Eight isn't as impossible as some think. Also, the route to Atlanta would go through Auburn Hills and Indianapolis, so travel wouldn't be a worry.

I could see any three of the teams winning the 6/11 game. KenPom has Memphis at No. 39, MTSU at No. 32 and SMC at No. 22, sooooo.... yeah.

I don't think MSU's matchup with Duke would be all that bad, though Coach K has Izzo's number. I think Louisville would be a terrible matchup, but maybe Izzo could work his second-game-of-the-weekend magic, as he did in 2009 (in Indy) and couldn't last year against Louisville. In the Elite Eight, you're going to get a hard game, anyway. Don't sleep on No. 4 seed Saint Louis.

The TOC bracket challenge is here. A printable bracket is here.

**Time update: MSU will play Valpo at 12:15 p.m. on CBS. First game of the day. Michigan is at 7:15.