This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

Final Four: Madness Ends in the Big Easy





We're now down to the cr¿me de la cr¿me of college basketball teams. We've moved from the Field of 65, to the Sweet 16 to the Elite Eight and now to the Final Four.

Although the two best teams in the country according to my power ratings (Kentucky and Arizona) didn't make it to this weekend's games, Kansas, Texas, Marquette and Syracuse are all quality teams that can win the whole tournament. My power ratings for these teams are: Kansas a 3, Texas a 5, Marquette a 7 and Syracuse an 8.

Three of the four teams had a large regional advantage in last weekend's games. Only Kansas played in an arena not populated by a majority of the team's fans. In New Orleans, Texas will clearly have the crowd behind them, since most of their fans can simply drive to New Orleans in less than a day.

Here's a summary of the point-spread results for the semifinal and final round of the NCAA basketball tournament for the last six years.


Favorites in Final Four
Against the Spread
Year Semifinals Finals
2002 0-2 1-0
2001 2-0 1-0
2000 2-0 1-0
1999 1-1 0-1
1998 0-2 1-0
1997 1-1 0-1
1996 0-2 0-1
Totals 6-8 4-3

Again, there's no clear pattern other than that the favorite has won and covered the point spread in the championship game in the last three years. Here are my selections for the semifinals and the championship game.

The Winners Are ...

Marquette +$1.80 (money line) over Kansas. Kansas is a 4 1/2-point favorite over Marquette. However, if you think Marquette can win the game straight up, you can make a bet to win $1.80 for every dollar that you bet on what is called the money line. I've gone back and forth on this game for most of the week and have finally come to the conclusion that I don't think the points will matter in this game. So I'm taking Marquette to win the game straight up.

Kansas deserves kudos for their consecutive victories over Duke and Arizona last weekend. But I think this week will be different for the Jayhawks, for a number of reasons. Marquette has been a solid team all season. Dwayne Wade has emerged as a certain NBA first-round draft pick. He reminds me very much of Phoenix's Shawn Marion and has the versatility to score in a variety of ways. Kansas has two solid NBA draft choices in Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich, but beyond those two players, their scoring options are very limited. If either Collison or Hinrich gets into foul trouble, the Jayhawks will be in trouble.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,827.75 +12.81 0.07%
S&P 500 2,072.83 +5.80 0.28%
NASDAQ 4,787.3170 +29.0650 0.61%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs