Now it gets really interesting.
Half of our brackets for the Real Money 'Sweet 16' were revealed the last two days.
In honor of the most exciting three weeks in sports, Real Money is presenting its own "Sweet 16." Four great stock picks and trades each day this week from our columnists leading up to Thursday's games.
Wednesday brings a wild "West Region" with no-holds-barred selections from Doug Kass, Bob Lang, Paul Price and Stephen "Sarge" Guilfoyle.
Who makes it out alive? Just survive and advance.
Doug Kass: ETFMG Alternative Harvest (MJ)
"I'm going to ask you a straightforward question: isn't it true that you have, perhaps unwillingly, acquired a certain habit through association with certain undesirable people?"
-- Dr. Carroll, Reefer Madness
My pick for March Madness is Reefer Madness! No, not the 1936 movie Reefer Madness -- a propaganda film which revolved around the melodramatic events that could ensue when high school students are lured by pushers to try marijuana! Rather, the largest marijuana-based ETF, Alternative Harvest, MJ.
The case for cannabis -- both for medicinal (currently used to treat illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, HIV, Parkinson's disease, glaucoma, epilepsy and cancer) and recreational uses -- seems to be a more tempting proposition.
Stated simply, the trend toward greater marijuana usage seems unstoppable.
Bob Lang: Baidu, Inc. (BIDU)
Baidu is the one to pick for March Madness. Then stock has been flirting around with all-time highs of late, and that could be exceeded soon.
The big surge since the big swoon lower in early February has been virtually wiped way, and the solid relative strength on the chart, below, is indicative of a name that institutional players are buying.
China names have been outperforming of late, too. MACD (moving average convergence divergence is on a strong buy signal as the stock is well above all moving averages.
Even a bit of consolidation here would not be bad, but a move toward $300 is likely to occur before too long.
Paul Price: Francesca's (FRAN)
My Cinderella pick for the Sweet 16 is Francesca's (FRAN).
The stock has been beaten up like crazy, falling 73% from a 52-week high of $17.35 to a new low of $4.66.
I'm betting the bad news has been overdone. FRAN may just turn out to be the Loyola of Chicago or University of Maryland Baltimore County of these featured stock picks.
The company remains profitable, is debt free and has taken steps to reverse the downtrend.
Consensus views for FY 2018 (ends Feb. 2, 2019) call for earnings per share of $0.63 putting the forward P/E at just 7.4x. Even a partial rebound can lift FRAN back to $10 to $15 over the coming 12 to 18 months.
Those goal are not far-fetched. From 2011 through 2015, FRAN's annual lows ran from $10 $16.30.
This is a three-point shot which could make your whole bracket shine.
Pick up some FRAN before they report fiscal fourth-quarter results on Mar. 27. That should be the last of their negative year-over-year comparisons setting the stage for a big recovery.
Stephen "Sarge" Guilfoyle: Micron Technology (MU)
Micron Technology. It's hard to pick this stock for the short run, but hard not to like its valuation (a 6.8 forward price-to-earnings ratio) or the non-stop demand for its DRAM and NAND memory chips.
On top of that, an "urge-to-merge" sentiment appears to be descending on the chip space.
We'll see if someone taps MU on the shoulder with a takeover offer.