Sick of hard-hitting analysis of the 2017 NCAA Tournament? Up to your eyeballs in expert picks chock-full of astute takes on players to watch and budding upsets? 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 TO PICK THE REGION
What a great region for someone with absolutely no testicular or ovariological fortitude to make a pick. The #1 seed is North Carolina, last year’s national runner-up (Shoutout to Marcus Paige for the best shot that no one will remember), and the #2 seed is Kentucky, maybe the most high profile blue blood team in college hoops history. Pick either one, you can’t really go wrong in terms of lame choices that lots of people will end up selecting. For official purposes here, we’ll take the Tar Heels, the team that won the ACC regular season title by two full games.
CHEX BOLD PARTY MIX BOLD PICK TO WIN THE REGION
For those of you who like to add a little hot sauce to your eggs in the morning, may I suggest taking UCLA to win the South Region? You’ll have fun, that’s for sure. KenPom’s #3 offense in the country plays at the 13th fastest tempo, has the best effective field goal percentage in the country, and amongst all of that, they have the 14th lowest turnover rate in the country. Fast, efficient, lots of shots going in, WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?
Oh, and there’s also the sideshow of Lonzo Ball‘s dad getting increasingly whacky as the Bruins advance in the tournament. You know you want to see it. Why not pick UCLA to go to the Final Four so we can get as much of it as possible?
CRUSH YOUR MAN UPSET SPECIAL
If you’re a long time reader of Anonymous Eagle, you’re probably aware that we don’t like Dayton all that much around here, largely for admittedly petty reasons. WELL, GOOD NEWS, EVERYONE! You get to cheer for Wichita State against the Flyers in this tournament! Win-win! Actually, win-win-win, because KenPom gives the Shox a 75% chance of pulling the 10 over 7 upset here! How great is that?!?
PLAYER I’D PAY TO WATCH
The answer here is really Lonzo Ball and his ridiculous assist rate and ridiculous shooting percentage. However, we already talked about how much fun the Bruins are in general, so let’s officially pick another player here.
That player, ladies and gentlemen, is Kentucky’s Malik Monk.
Monk has scored at least 25 points on nine different occasions, and there’s a bunch more games where he had 23 or 24 points. His high point of the season was a 47 point outing back in December. Now, you’re probably thinking “Oh, this must have come against Cleveland State or whoever UK’s worst opponent was this season.” NOPE, HE DROPPED 47 ON NORTH CAROLINA. Malik Monk is ridiculous and I pray that we get at least one 30+ point game in the tournament.
DO NOT WANT ALERT
If someone, preferably either Kansas State or Wake Forest, whichever one wins on Tuesday night in Dayton, could put Cincinnati Bearcats out of their misery as fast as possible, that would be great. I can not tolerate Mick Cronin’s horrible version of basketball any longer than necessary. Credit where credit is due: The Bennett-Ball that Wisconsin and Virginia play ends up with the two teams taking very excellent shots and generally speaking making a lot of them. Well, a lot of the shots that they take, that is. They don’t actually take a lot of shots because of their pace. What Cronin is doing is a perversion of that. He’s playing ultra slow (and getting slower relative to the rest of the country) and his teams can’t hit the broad side of a barn. This year’s team, ranked #115 in the country in effective field goal percentage, is literally the only team Cronin has ever had that has posted an eFG% over 50%.
Please make the Bearcats go away, preferably in the most painful way possible so we can at least laugh at the angry fit that the little leprechaun on the UC sideline throws on his way out.