Fear not, friends: your pals at Anonymous Eagle are here to inject some half-baked, homespun "insight" into the proceedings, with our annual region-by-region tour, as we go Anonymously Through the Brackets.
For each region, we'll give you our patented Anonymous Eagle Half-Arsed Analysis with: a gutless pick to win the region; a sleeper regional champ; a CRUSH YOUR MAN upset special; a player we'd pay to watch; and something you're not going to want to see.
BREWTOWN ANDY GIVES YOU A CORN-FED LOOK INTO THE MIDWEST REGION
GUTLESS WONDER Pick To Win The Region: After they got bounced by Lehigh last year in the exact same seed, it'd take some stones to pick Duke to take the region, so that leaves me with no other option but to be nice to Louisville. Not like that's actually difficult, given how succinctly the Cardinals dismantled Marquette earlier this season. They're KenPom.com's 15th most efficient offense and - surprising no one - *the* most efficient defense in the country. They don't let you hit shots, they take the ball away from you constantly, and they haven't lost a game in regulation since that nasty three game losing streak back in January. What's not to like, other than IT'S BLEEPING LOUISVILLE?
Chex Bold Party Mix BOLD PICK To Win The Region: I *would* like to say Saint Louis, but after Butler's Brad Stevens couldn't shut up about them after Butler lost to SLU in the A10 tournament and Jay Bilas turned into a jukebox stuck on Homer Simpson's favorite song on ESPN's bracket show, I don't think the Billikens are a BOLD PICK any more. So I'm going with the Missouri Valley champion and future Big East member Creighton. The Bluejays lost 5 games in MVC play, but four of those are on the road, and the MVC's no joke on the road. They've got the best eFG% in the country because of the best 3 point percentage and second best 2 point percentage. They don't let you get your misses and they don't let you get to the line. If Doug McDermott and Ethan Wragge are hitting shots, there's not a lot of teams in the country who can keep up with the Jays.
CRUSH YOUR MAN Upset Special: Ok, I'm going to be honest with you people: I have the round of 64 going completely chalk on my Sheet Of Integrity. So keep that in mind when I tell you that your best bet for getting an upset in this region is going to be Saint Mary's going over Memphis. We all saw (or tried to see, no thanks to CBS and their terrible scheduling) Memphis get taken to overtime by Southern Miss in the Conference USA title game. Ever since John Calipari took off for Kentucky, blowing it on the biggest stage of the season has become Memphis' move. Can I see Matthew Dellavadova and the Gaels riding a wave of momentum from the First Four game to beat the Tigers? Sure I can.
Player I'd Pay To Watch: The easy answer would be to pick the exact same player I picked last year: Creighton's Doug McDermott. But that's boring, so I'll go in a different direction: Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart. Dude was named the Big 12 Freshman Of The Year AND Player Of The Year. You know who else pulled that one off? Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley. That's the list. That's it. Yeah, I'll pony up the cash.
Hide Your Eyes When: Louisville and Cincinnati play. I want to make this clear: This is *NOT* a cheap shot at adidas for making uniforms that are grotesquely ugly. If you saw Michigan play in the Big Ten tournament, then you already know that the style of the adidas 2013 post season uniforms are completely fine. The reason you're going to want to hide your eyes is because of the color choices that adidas and the schools have gone with. That much brighter than red color is painful to watch.
Be sure to sign up for the AE Bracket Challenge! Free to enter and Marquette swag will go to the winner!