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Anonymously Through The Brackets: East Region Bias

Sick of hard-hitting analysis of the 2015 NCAA Tournament? Up to your eyeballs in expert picks chock-full of astute takes on players to watch and budding upsets?

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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:


Courtesy of their #1 seed, we get to pick Villanova, the Big East regular season and tournament champions, as our gutless pick to win.  If you watched Marquette's three games against the Wildcats this season, then you know how good Villanova is.  They have no true stars, they share the ball like mad, a number of guys can suddenly explode into a supernova of scoring, and on top of it all, they've got that dapper Jay Wright leading the way.

Plus, y'know, it's fun to cheer for VU to bring all those NCAA unit paychecks home to the Big East coffers.  STRAIGHT CASH, HOMIE.


Anything 1-4 isn't a bold pick to win.  You see those top four seeds land in the Final Four all the time.  Thus, I have to give a shoutout to the selection committee for giving me the gift of Northern Iowa as a 5 seed.  The Panthers finished second in the Missouri Valley this year, but coasted to the MVC tournament relatively easily when #1 seed Wichita State got popped in the semifinals.  They've got Seth Tuttle, the best player in the MVC, who also happens to be #4 in the KenPom Player of the Year rankings.  They're top 20 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, and they're the 8th best shooting team in the country.  WARNING: They are the fourth slowest team in the country and the second slowest team in the tournament, coming in only slightly faster than Virginia.


Every so often, a #15 seed upsets a #2 seed.  I don't know if I'd favor Belmont to beat Virginia this year.  KenPom only gives the Bruins a 5% chance to upset the Cavaliers.  But.  Belmont is the #5 shooting team in the country.  They shoot 38% on threes and a whopping 56.2% on twos, which ranks #4 in the country.  If Belmont, who shoots nearly half of their shots from behind the arc, catches fire for 40 minutes.... and Virginia goes through one of their power outages that they've suffered on occasion since Justin Anderson injured his hand.....


Remember when we said that Northern Iowa is the second slowest team in the tournament, with only Virginia coming in with a slower tempo?  Yeah.  As you can figure out from reading that last section, they're in the same region.  Now, because of their seeds, they'd both have to get to the Elite 8 before they'd slowly bump into each other.  But if that happens - and it very easily could - it will be one of the least fun to watch Elite 8 games in NCAA tournament history.  Oh, they'll score with ruthless efficiency.  Just don't expect anyone to break 60 points.

Don't forget to sign up for The 2015 Anonymous Eagle Bracket Challenge!  It's free, and there will be prizes!