Alas, the madness begins. Tonight, with 2 play in games, March Madness and the NCAA Tournament officially gets underway.
I haven't won a bracket pool in over 5 years, so taking my advice can prove detrimental to your pocket, like taking your friend's advice on stock picks. However, I'm consistent in finishing 2nd, 3rd or 4th every year, sometimes in pools as large as 100 people. There is something to be said for consistency, like a Vanguard mutual fund.
Speaking of investing, let's treat our bracket like a stock portfolio this year.
The #1 seeds are your blue-chips. Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina, Michigan State. Apple, Nike, Disney, Google. Having these in your portfolio/bracket guarantees you stay in the game. You're not going to blow up like Long Term Capital Management or Enron.
Your #2 and #3 seeds are value picks. Pick the right one and you're rich. Pick the wrong one, you're done. Companies that fit this profile are Amazon, Netflix, Sirius XM, Microsoft, HP, Barnes & Noble, Target, etc. Schools that fit the profile are Baylor, Duke, Missouri, Kansas, Ohio State, Florida State, Georgetown, Marquette.
The #4 seed. It's the stock you hate but always seems to beat analysts projections and earnings. Wisconsin, Indiana, Louisville, Michigan. Is it just me or are Wisconsin and Indiana always 4 seeds? And now Michigan. It's like the selection committee just says, "Oh, a Big-Ten school. We don't know. 4 seed." Companies like this are IBM, Caterpillar, McDonalds, Qualcomm.
And finally, the start-up. The sexy pick. Cinderella. The magical place where profitability and revenue don't seem to matter. Business wise, this is LinkedIn, Pandora, Zynga. In Bracketology these are the 12 seeds. Harvard, Long Beach State, VCU, Cal. Odd that 3/4 12 seeds this year hail from Harvard, NorCal/Silicon Valley and SoCal, the hottest startup regions around. Mid-majors like Murray State, Saint Mary's and Wichita State also fit the profile.
Want to win your bracket? Want to become rich? The best approach is to diversify. Or dont. What do I know? I'm not rich and I haven't won a bracket in years. Maybe you should just roll the dice and bet it all on New Mexico State.