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.
Without further ado:
GUTLESS WONDER PICK TO WIN
I mean, duh, it's Kentucky. We could do a Gutless Wonder Pick To Win the whole shebang and it would still be Kentucky. First of all, they're going to get to play their first two games in Louisville, which is essentially a home game. Then Sweet 16 & Elite 8 games in Cleveland? There are Big Blue Nation fans that would WALK to Cleveland to go to those games, so no worries about drawing a favorable crowd.
And that's just the obvious item about how the crowds that they'll play in front of will favor the Wildcats. You want a more technical assessment of how Karl-Anthony Towns and crew are going to run roughshod over the rest of the Midwest region? Here you go: Kentucky is the only team in the country that ranks in the top 10 in both adjusted offensive efficiency and adjusted defensive efficiency on KenPom.com. That's it. That's the list. Here's where it gets crazier: THEY'RE TOP FIVE IN BOTH CATEGORIES.
Fear the Wildcats.
CHEX BOLD PARTY MIX BOLD PICK TO WIN
If you want to get crazy, though, I've got an item for you. If you haven't been paying complete and total attention to college basketball, you might not be surprised to find Wichita State down there on the #7 line. You might remember the Shockers from their #1 seed a year ago, and their Final Four appearance the year before that. It's essentially the same team that ended up with that 1 seed a year ago, just without Cleanthony Early, who was, admittedly, great for WSU. But the major players on this year's team were contributors for the last two years, and now this is their team. They just didn't have any major wins on the season that would have bolstered their profile. They tried to schedule up: Memphis, Tulsa, Seton Hall, Alabama. None of them panned out into good teams this season. What if all four of those squads were in the NCAA tournament this year? Where would the Shockers be seeded?
CRUSH YOUR MAN UPSET SPECIAL
Notre Dame just won their first ever conference tournament when they defeated North Carolina for the ACC title on Saturday night. This might be the apex of Notre Dame basketball.
So of course it will be the most Notre Dame thing ever for the Irish to go and completely flame out against Northeastern in the first round. Mike Brey has lost his last three NCAA games to double digits seeds, including the last two in the round of 64. Notre Dame has busted out of the tournament against a double digit seed in five of their last six tournament appearances, and they've only been to the Sweet 16 once under Brey, which was alllll the way back in 2003. In fact, I'll be surprised if Northeastern isn't actually favored in this game in Vegas, just because it's almost patently absurd to think that Notre Dame will win this game.
DON'T HIDE YOUR EYES WHEN
If you're a regular reader around these parts, you'll know we're not a big fan of the slowdown basketball favored by both Virginia and Wisconsin. Thus, we have to recommend the West Virginia-Buffalo game to you. The Mountaineers are ranked #26 in the country in tempo on KenPom, while the Bulls apply #MACtion to the equation and rank #20. It's going to be fun to watch, if nothing else. Just try not to focus on the ridiculous "State University Of New York At Buffalo" on the front of their jerseys, because it's just WAY too much writing on a jersey.
Don't forget to sign up for The 2015 Anonymous Eagle Bracket Challenge! It's free, and there will be prizes!