NCAA Tournament Predictions: Goldman CEO Picks Gonzaga, Bill Ackman Likes Baylor

relates to Goldman CEO Likes Gonzaga, Ackman Takes Baylor in NCAA Challenge

According to titans from the world of business and finance, the Gonzaga Bulldogs are the favorites to cut down the nets in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Half of the 52 participants in the Bloomberg Brackets for a Cause competition picked the Zags to win it all, and 44 people selected them to at least make the championship game. Only six see a team other than the top-seeded Bulldogs winning the West Region.

Bullish on the Bulldogs

Wall Street sees Gonzaga winning the men’s NCAA basketball tournament

Source: Data compiled by Bloomberg

There is strong reasoning behind some of the top names on Wall Street jumping on Gonzaga. The Mark Few-coached team enters the tournament with a perfect 26-0 record. If the Zags are the last team standing, they will be the first undefeated men’s team since 1976.

Illinois is the second-favorite to win it all, with 12 participants taking the Fighting Illini. The two favorites to go all the way were selected to face each other in the final matchup by 18 people.

Because of the pandemic, this year’s tournament will look different than normal. Every game is being played in Indiana, with a majority in Indianapolis. As of Thursday morning, eight positive cases were identified out of more than 9,100 tests conducted — a positivity rate below 0.1%. Fans will be allowed, but no venue can go above 25% capacity.

Here is a look at some picks from this year’s participants:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Solomon went with the highest-placed teams for his Elite Eight, selecting all one-seeded and two-seeded teams to advance. His big upset: Colgate over Arkansas in the first round. Solomon took Gonzaga over Houston in the national championship game.

Bumble Inc. founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd has Villanova in her Elite Eight and took Texas Tech as her champion.

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman sees 12th seed UC Santa Barbara taking down fifth seed Creighton and No. 13 North Texas over fourth seed Purdue. The founder of Pershing Square Capital Management has seventh seed UConn and sixth seed Texas Tech making the Elite Eight, but in the end he sees Baylor winning it all.

The winner of the 2019 contest, Kynikos Associates founder and President Jim Chanos, likes Illinois to beat Michigan in the title game.

Bloomberg LP founder Michael Bloomberg’s Final Four looks different than most entries, as he selected Iowa, Texas, Tennessee and Arkansas — with the Longhorns cutting down the nets.

Dina Powell McCormick, Goldman’s global head of sustainability and inclusive growth, is a University of Texas graduate, but she sees the magic running out when the three seed faces Gonzaga in the Final Four.

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