Today's the day
Once everyone has played a game, I'll start posting net efficiency margin (NEM) results as a tempo-free and opponent-strength-independent team performance metric. If you still need some help with your bracket, here are a few teasers.
All raw efficiency data is from the sublime kenpom.com. I used the ratings through last Sunday's games to make the comparisons.
(6) St. John's vs. (11) Gonzaga - Southeast region, Denver pod
These are two teams heading in opposite directions, and it doesn't get any better for St. John's without D.J. Kennedy.
(6) Cincinnati vs. (11) Missouri - West region, Washington pod
Another case of teams heading in different directions, Cincinnati's Big East tourney loss notwithstanding. Missouri's downward trend has been going for a while.
(6) Georgetown vs. (11) Virginia Commonwealth - Southwest region, Chicago pod
Georgetown is expectd to regain the services of Chris Wright, who went out with a broken left hand on February 223. Since then, the Hoyas have not been themselves. Their NEM trend (blue is offense - higher is better - and red is defense - lower is better) shows the dropoff has come almost entirely on offense, so if Wright can step back in the Hoyas could make some noise.