Now that everyone is familiar with net efficiency margin (NEM) as a tempo-free and opponent-strength-independent team performance metric, I'll jump right into reviewing the first round performances using NEM. Some of the results will be obvious, but removing the strength of the opponent from the comparison can unearth some hidden gems from Thursday's and Friday's games.

All raw efficiency data is from the sublime I used the ratings through last Sunday's games to make the comparisons. (For my second round reviews, I'll update the ratings through the end of the first round, and so on.)

Best games (by combined total NEM)

 ResultTotal NEM 
1.Texas A&M69Utah St.5345.8Everything's bigger in Texas. With Utah State's -4.3, the NEM margin (54.4) was larger than the combined NEM.
5.Cal77Louisville6244.3The Bears could give Duke a good run on Sunday. Like Butler, Cal put up good results on both sides of the ball against a very inconsistent Louisville team.

Top overall performances

1.Texas A&MUtah St.50.1
2.ButlerUTEP46.3Very balanced performance by Butler. Both their offensive (27.5) and defensive (-18.8) NEM ranked in the top 15 in the first round.

Top offensive performances

1.CornellTemple44.5The Big Red shot a ridiculous 65.6 eFG% against a Temple team that was #1 in defensive eFG% and only allowing 42.4 eFG%.
3.St. Mary'sRichmond35.3
5.UNLVNorthern Iowa30.2Despite outperforming Northern Iowa on both ends of the NEM, the Rebels lost where it counts.

Top defensive performances (lower scores are better)

1.West VirginiaMorgan St.-32.3
2.BaylorSam Houston St.-30.9See #4.
4.Sam Houston St.Baylor-28.9Whether you want to call it good defense or bad offense, this game had it.
5.Texas A&MUtah St.-28.6

Worst overall performances

1.Morgan St.West Virginia-11.7While nowhere near as bad as last year's worst first round performance, this one was not close.
3.Ark. Pine BluffDuke-10.7
5.E. Tenn. St.Kentucky-8.5

Worst offensive performances

1.Morgan St.West Virginia-18.4
2.Ark. Pine BluffDuke-15.9
3.Sam Houston St.Baylor-13.8See top defensive performances.
4.BaylorSam Houston St.-10.7Ditto.

Worst defensive performances (higher scores are worse)

1.GeorgetownOhio26.7When the other team shoots 70 eFG%, it's just not your day.
4.RichmondSt. Mary's11.9The Spiders, like Georgetown, had a very good but not elite defense (ranked in the top 35 in adjusted efficiency) coming in.
5.E. Tenn. St.Kentucky9.4