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Busted? I meant “Bracket Busted”, of course!
If you’re like me, you may
have only one team (Michigan State, in my case) remaining in your NCAA Men’s
Final Four bracket for this coming weekend.
If you have two or more teams left in this group of four teams, then you
should be looking forward to your new nickname at the office next week, Champ!
Though the four “Elite Eight”
games from last weekend were probably the best collection of weekend college
basketball I have seen in a long time, the majority of us are now left with a
perplexing thought for the official “Final Four” games on Saturday.
Who are these four teams, and
which one(s) should I now pull for?
A great question, and, as you
figured, your SwampSwami has a unique way to help you through the process.
I think you should choose
your favorite of the Final Four squads (Texas Tech, Virginia, Michigan State,
and Auburn) in the same manner as you prefer to build your personal investment
Are you an ultra-conservative investor? Is your style
more of a defensive investor who likes cash, short-term securities, and bonds
and generally stays away from risky stocks and long shots? You may be the type of person whose gut thinks
that the next market crash is just around the corner, right?
should be your choice!
Yes, Virginia, you are the
lonely #1 seeded team remaining.
Virginia’s stockholders remain (understandably) a wee bit skeptical
after being a #1 seed last year and losing in the first round (a dubious
distinction) to #16-seeded commuter school from Baltimore (UMBC).
With a head coach (Tony Bennett) who shares a name with one of America’s favorite singers, the Cavaliers are trying to go from “Rags to Riches” and redeem their fans’ high expectations this season with a national championship trophy.
Virginia is your “defensive”
choice (#1 in the country, in fact). It
took an overtime game with Gonzaga (80-75) for Virginia to give up 70 or more
points in the year 2019 to a team not named Duke!
Offensively, the Cavs aren’t
exactly the team to pick if you want to get rich quick. They rank a paltry #215 in the NCAA in team
offense. The Cavs philosophy is to play smart,
play defense, and play to win.
Is your investing style a little less conservative but
still patient? Do you prefer a little higher mix of stocks and bonds
and find yourself attracted to “Balanced” mutual funds and a few blue chip
stocks with good dividends?
is the team for you!
Defense, you ask? The Red Raiders are button-downed type of
basketball team who will defend your “cash” for the full forty minute game and,
if needed, into overtime. They’ll keep
the game close with a slowdown pace and have not given up more than 69 points
to an opponent in four NCAA tournament games.
They are a solid #4 in the nation in defense this season.
Alas, like Virginia, your
team’s offensive returns will probably be a little below average, too. The Red Raiders’ offense can be, at times, a
little boring and don’t offer the highest yields. Texas Tech’s offense is rated #159 in the
land in points scored.
However, T-Tech’s offense
features a solid international “investment” that has provided great dividends
for the team the entire season. Italy’s
Davide Moretti is the team’s second leading scorer at about 12 points per game.
Shooting guard Jarrett Culver (19 points
per game) is from the city of Lubbock and has scored in double digits all but
one game this season. Culver’s stock is
rising (as in NBA) in the Texas Tech portfolio.
Maybe you prefer a little more risk and return in your
portfolio, but you want a seasoned manager?
I present to you – Michigan State!
The Spartans are your
blue-chip dividend team with an experienced manager in Coach Tom Izzo.
Want balance in your
team? Michigan State ranks 48th
in team offense and 35th in team defense. On most days, the Spartans will give you a
great effort on the defensive end and just enough offense to win
Did I say “win”?
Michigan State won the Big
Ten regular season and then the Big Ten tournament. This squad figured it deserved a #1 seed in
the NCAA tournament.
Surprisingly, Michigan State received
a #2 seed instead. They were also placed
in the same bracket as #1 overall seed, Duke, which equated the team being the
WORST #2 seed and eighth best team in the field entering the tournament.
Sparty has been playing with a
huge blue-chip on their shoulder in this tournament. Ask the Duke Blue Devils. The #1 overall seed was just sent home by
Michigan State on Sunday afternoon.
This is the team to pick if
you like seeing a team whose players are not focused on playing in the NBA and plays
with the toughness of their Hall-of-Fame coach.
Finally, do you feel LUCKY? Well, do ya???
Then, your team is the Auburn Tigers!
Auburn has been on a bull run
(12 wins in a row) like no other team remaining in the Final Four. In addition to having the greatest on-set cheerleader
for national telecasts in former Tiger, Charles Barkley, this Auburn team has
been your high yielding portfolio that just keeps on returning dividends for
its long-suffering supporters.
The investment portfolio
includes pearls, too. Shooting
three-point shots to win games can be risky, but Auburn’s coach, Bruce Pearl, provides
an inspirational lift every game for his merry band of long-distance scorers.
Auburn’s defense hasn’t been pretty
(107th in the nation) as their primary objective is to simply
outscore and wear down the other team. However,
Aubie surprised many as they dispatched an SEC blue-blood rival, Kentucky, with
a gritty win on Sunday. They won without
the team’s third-leading scorer (Chuma Okeke) who is out for the season with a
In sum, any of these four
teams has a reasonable chance to win it all.
Of the remaining teams, only Michigan State (Magic Johnson’s 1979 team
and Izzo’s first winner in 2000) has won a national championship in men’s
There is no clear-cut
favorite remaining in this weekend’s Final Four.
So, pick a team which suits
your personal investing style, and have fun with this year’s Final Four!