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
If you clicked on this post expecting this website to do anything other than pick the Arizona Wildcats to win this region, well, then this must be your very first visit to Anonymous Eagle. Arizona's great. They're the Pac 12 regular season champion, they're the Pac 12 tournament champion, they've won 11 straight games and 17 of their last 18. They're the #2 team on KenPom, largely because they've got the third best team in the country.
Also, and this is the most important issue, they're not Wisconsin, which is the #1 seed in this region.
CHEX BOLD PARTY MIX BOLD PICK TO WIN
Do you like Shaka Smart? Do you think he knows what he's doing as a basketball coach? Then may I suggest picking the VCU Rams to win the West?
Yes, the Rams are a 7 seed. Yes, they're only 9-6 in their last 15 games, and four of those wins were in the Atlantic 10 tournament. As you might guess, they won the A-10 tournament, and given their #7 seed, they might have needed to win the tournament to get in. But the reason that they were scuffling is because they lost Briante Weber, their best defensive player, to a knee injury. He's done for the year, but I think that VCU has figured out how to play without him. One of their six losses coming down the stretch of the regular season was at Davidson. The final score was 82-55, which is a quite frightening result. What happened when VCU & Davidson hooked up in the A-10 semifinals? VCU blew the Wildcats out, 93-73. If you believe that Smart has figured out how to organize his team without Weber, and I do, then pick the Rams.
CRUSH YOUR MAN UPSET SPECIAL
I don't trust Scott Drew. Do you trust Scott Drew? I don't know if you should. Ok, he's gotten Baylor into the Sweet 16 three times in the last five years, which also includes two Elite Eight appearances. But when he doesn't make the Sweet 16, that's because he's not in the tournament. This is the first time in Scott Drew's head coaching career that he's been in the NCAA tournament in consecutive seasons.
His reward? Playing Georgia State, one of the most talented Sun Belt teams that you'll ever see. Forget about R.J. Hunter, the coach's kid, who does a little bit of everything for the Panthers. I'm talking about Ryan Harrow, who used to be at Kentucky, and Kevin Ware, who used to be at Louisville. It's a tidy little trio of dudes who should throw a scare into Bears fans everywhere. Plus: GSU head coach Ron Hunter blew out his Achilles tendon celebrating their Sun Belt title win, so you know that his players are going to want to give him a reward for that kind of suffering.
HIDE YOUR EYES WHEN
Xavier obliterates Ole Miss. Oh, man, it's not looking good for the Rebels. On Tuesday night, they exploded in the second half to rally from a 17 point halftime deficit to beat BYU by four points in regulation. I mention this, because back in 2012, BYU was down 15 at the half to Iona in a Tuesday night First Four game before eventually defeating Iona, 78-72. What happened to the Cougars? They got CRUSHED by Marquette on Thursday. Now, in fairness, that was a 3/14 game, while Xavier-Ole miss is a 6/11 game. But they go from finishing up a hard fought game around 10:30 Central time in Dayton to playing at 3pm Thursday in Jacksonville? Nooooooope. Ain't happening. Xavier's gonna run through them like a harvester in a wheat field.
Don't forget to sign up for The 2015 Anonymous Eagle Bracket Challenge! It's free, and there will be prizes!