Momentum Picks Leave Brackets Down as Sweet 16 Starts

(Bloomberg) -- Riding winners has been a championship strategy on Wall Street for years now. It’s been nothing but trouble for the industry’s college basketball prognosticators.

A stretch of historic upsets that eliminated two top seeds and two second seeds during the first weekend of the NCAA hoops tournament upended Bloomberg’s Brackets for a Cause. Money manager Cliff Asness tops the friendly competition’s leader board after he got 10 of the 16 remaining teams correct.

His run may be short-lived as the games resume Thursday: His pick to win it all, the Virginia Cavaliers, have been gone since Friday, and another of his Final Four teams, No. 2 seed North Carolina, bowed out two days later. General Atlantic CEO Bill Ford is currently in second, with three of his Final Four picks still in the hunt. He also tapped the Cavaliers to cut down the nets in San Antonio next month, though.

The upsets, along with top seed Xavier’s ouster and No. 2 seed Cincinnati’s historic collapse, all but wiped out investors Paul Tudor Jones and Bruce Flatt. Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and Avenue Capital’s Marc Lasry also fell from contention.

Momentum Picks Leave Brackets Down as Sweet 16 Starts

The likely winner will be determined by the fates of popular picks Duke and Villanova. Steve Pagliuca from Bain Capital has the most points of anyone who’s got the Wildcats winning, while SAP’s Bill McDermott is leading with Duke as champion.

Don’t sleep on PJT Partners CEO Paul Taubman, Macy’s former Chairman Terry Lundgren or Verizon executive Tim Armstrong. Despite sitting in the bottom half of the rankings, each can rack up points with three of the Final Four and both of the Finals participants.

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