Think you can pick the Final Four teams? Test your skills, and win free trades if you’re right.
It seems like there is something deeply-rooted in human nature to cheer for an underdog. Maybe it’s the challenge, maybe it’s the unpredictability or maybe it’s our contrary nature, but everyone enjoys cheering for David to topple Goliath from time to time.
Perhaps no other time of year embodies the excitement surrounding our desire for Cinderella stories than March Madness. Here’s a look at some of the tournament’s most legendary Cinderella teams and a look at some stocks on Wall Street that could also make for great Cinderella stories this year.
Back in 1990, the Loyola Marymount Lions entered the NCAA tournament as an 11th seed representing the West Coast Conference, but proceeded to topple the likes of 6th seed New Mexico State, 3rd seed Michigan and 7th seed Alabama before finally falling to 1st seed UNLV in the Elite Eight.
In 2002, the Kent State Golden Flashes of the Mid-American Conference, who were seeded 10th, stunned 7th seed Oklahoma, 2nd seed Alabama and 3rd seed Pittsburgh before finally falling to Indiana in the Elite Eight.
In 2008, the reigning NBA MVP Steph Curry put the 10th-seeded Davidson Wildcats of the Southern Conference on his sophomore shoulders and led them past 7th seed Gonzaga, 2nd seed Georgetown and 3rd seed Wisconsin before they finally lost to number 1 seed Kansas in the Elite Eight.
Maybe the biggest Cinderella run in the history of the NCAA tournament happened in 2013 when the 9th-seeded Wichita State Shockers, who lost six Missouri Valley Conference games that season, stunned 8th seed Pittsburgh, 1st seed Gonzaga and 2nd seed Ohio State on their way to a Final Four appearance that even Shockers fans didn’t anticipate.
Wichita State wasn’t content with their five minutes of fame, however, and made another improbable push to the Elite Eight just two years later.
It’s no secret that the U.S stock market is off to one of its worst starts in history in 2016. Sell-offs in financials, big-name tech stocks, and healthcare names have been fairly widespread, but there are also plenty of unlikely winners so far this year.
While Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) are both down more than 18 percent this year, tech stock Centurylink Inc (NYSE: CTL) is up 19.2% so far in 2016.
The financial sector has been the worst-performing market sector of 2016, but nobody told REIT Realty Income Corp (NYSE: O), which is up 16.0% year-to-date.
And finally, if you’re looking for a 2016 Cinderella story in the beaten-down healthcare sector, Edwards Lifesciences Corp (NYSE: EW) is up 9.6% so far this year.
Unpredictability is one of the things that makes March Madness so fun and so maddening. Stock traders are used to that kind of unpredictability, and it certainly makes for big returns in some unlikely places from time to time.
Disclosure: the author has no position in the stocks mentioned.
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