IU fans are neutral spectators in this season's NCAA Tournament, but here is a quick look at how the state of Indiana's NCAA Tournament teams fared on Selection Sunday and my early guess on where they will end up.
Notre Dame (2 seed, Southwest). The Fighting Irish probably cost themselves what would have been their first #1 seed since 1979 when they failed to hold a big lead over Louisville in the Big East semifinals, but ND is in its best position for a big tournament run since the early 1980s. Notre Dame faces MAC champ Akron in the first round and then the winner of Texas A&M/Florida State in the second round. In the Sweet 16, if the brackets hold their form, ND will play #3 seed Purdue in what was one of the most interesting potential matchups that jumped off the screen during the selection show. The Irish and Purdue will match strength against strength. ND is, and always has been under Mike Brey, an offense-oriented team, while Purdue excels on the defensive end. My prediction: Sweet 16.
Purdue (3 seed, Southwest). The Boilermakers were in the #1 seed conversation until the last weekend of the regular season, when they lost at Iowa, and raised some additional question marks when the suffered a blowout loss to Michigan State in their first game of the Big Ten Tournament. Still, Purdue is an experienced team with two All-Americans and will be a tough matchup for anyone in the Tournament. My prediction: Elite 8.
Butler (8 seed, Southeast). The Bulldogs appeared to be in deep trouble halfway through the Horizon League season, but Butler won its conference tournament, avenging a season sweep to Wisconsin Milwaukee, and the 2010 NCAA runner-up must be creating some heartburn for the #1 seed, Pittsburgh. Butler hasn't lost since February 3. My guess is that the tournament-tested Bulldogs will be too much for Old Dominion in the first round, but will fall to the Panthers. My prediction: round of 32.
Indiana State (14 seed, East). The Sycamores had a solid regular season, and won the Missouri Valley Tournament as the #3 seed to secure their first NCAA bid in a decade. Still, ISU is a #14 seed, and faces a tough draw against Syracuse. My prediction: round of 64.
Ever wish that more things worked like college brackets? That you could seed everything that way? Top 64 pre-game foods. Top 64 college players. Well, now you can do just that with your friends, with the Allstate BFF Brackets, which takes your 64 top Facebook friends (an algorithm seeds them based on interaction) and seeds them in four regions, exactly like the real tourney. Once the tourney starts, your friends advance with the corresponding seeds – till one is left standing. Check it out at http://apps.facebook.com/bffbrackets.