Let the party - or is it parity - begin as the brackets have been set for the 2013 NCAA basketball tournament.
The NCAA selection committee did a fine job of selecting 68 teams for the tournament in a college basketball season where no dominant team emerged and six teams were considered for the four No. 1 seed positions in the tournament.
MSU and Michigan start "at home"
The Michigan State Spartans (25-8) and Michigan Wolverines (26-7) were rewarded Sunday with a home-state advantage in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. Both teams will play Thursday at the Palace of Auburn Hills. If they win their first game, then they would play again Saturday to qualify for the "Sweet Sixteen."
The Spartans inability to beat Ohio State last Saturday pushed them down to a No. 3 seed in the Midwest Regional. They will face the Valparaiso Crusaders (26-7) who are the No. 14 seed and Horizon League champions.
The Wolverines, who lost to Big Ten tournament runner-up Wisconsin, plunged even further than MSU and were awarded the No. 4 seed in the South Regional. Their first game will be against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (25-9) who are the No. 13 seed and Summit League champions.
How about No. "1a" and "1b" seeds?
An argument could be made that the top eight teams in the tournament are so close to being competitively equal that the NCAA selection committee selected eight teams with the four No. 1 teams being equal to the "1a" seeds and the four No. 2 teams being equal to "1b" seeds.
The NCAA committee and I agreed on the top eight teams, but disagreed on the seeding. (I had Miami of Florida as a No. 1 seed, but the committee made them the No. 2 seed in the East Regional.)
Big East places one more team than Big Ten
There were eight Big East teams selected for the tournament and the Big Ten placed seven teams in the field of 68. Fifteen other seeds were filled equally by teams from the Atlantic 10, Big 12 and Mountain West conferences.
The Kentucky Wildcats, last year's national champions, were not selected for the tournament. Other teams who had their bubbles burst include Maryland, Virginia and Iowa.
Next article: Are there any upsets brewing for the four "play-in" games?