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Outlooks - June 2019

Perspectives - Q2 2019

Winning Approach

By Jeff Otto, CFA

Every year, as the season turns to spring, college basketball fans rejoice as 68 teams compete in the NCAA tournament to win a National Championship. The tournament is a roller coaster ride for players, coaches and fans as a season’s worth of work comes down to a single game. Either the team wins to advance or loses and the season is over. While there are upsets every year, by and large, the tournament is designed to give the best teams the easiest path to the title. In fact, the lowest seed to ever advance to the Final Four is the 11th seed and this has been achieved just four times, including last year with Loyola Chicago. The Villanova Wildcats, seeded No. 8 in 1985, were the lowest seed to ever win the tournament. Clearly, the odds are stacked in favor of teams seeded at the top of the bracket. It is also no coincidence that a relatively small number of basketball programs consistently earn these favorable seeds year in and year out. What similarities does a winning investment strategy have with these highly ranked basketball teams?

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