Competing Against the Poll, Week 1
A slightly rocky start for your 3MW heroes! Lots of slight bumps downwards (and upwards, for the teams we shorted) led to some shaky numbers, but the lack of truly BIG games made it difficult to see much movement up or down. No one shorted Wisconsin, who suffered an incredibly disappointing home loss to suddenly potent Western Illinois (just ask Illinois-Chicago), which would probably have led to the biggest gain in points this week. My slight drop was mostly attributable to Utah inching up 15 votes. Ky was hurt by owning NC State in his long-term portfolio, who went from 19 votes down to 0 with its home loss to the Tribe of William & Mary (shout to my coworker Robert DeGraaff). Matt, on the other hand, suffered most from his weekly short of UConn – the Huskies collected a portion of the votes Wisconsin lost after falling out of the poll. He also owns Georgetown, who, similar to NC State, suffered a home loss (to Radford) and lost all 23 votes.
Despite these negative impacts, none of us decided to make any changes within our long-term portfolios as of Monday morning. An update on those:
Already this week, we’ve seen Virginia fall at George Washington and Utah beat San Diego State, both of which will damage my position. Hopefully Michigan State’s win over Kansas on a neutral floor will balance that out somewhat. NC State has recovered for Ky, and Maryland snuck a win against Georgetown (to Matt’s dismay). Ky’s shorting of Cal looks shaky early, as they’ve blitzed Rice and UC-Santa Barbara so far. Matt almost got a huge double dose of goodness with a Georgetown bounceback win against his short of Maryland, but that fell short. Cincinnati looks like a juggernaut so far and appears to be a great early investment.
With the games starting to get better, short-term picks should get a lot more interesting. DJ Dimes is off to a great start, with both his buy of Oregon (beat Baylor) and his short of Duke (lost to Kentucky) looking good so far. Duke also has to play VCU and Wisconsin/Georgetown this weekend. Similar to Matt’s Oregon pick, I shorted Baylor, so we’ll both see benefit from the Ducks looking tough in Eugene. I bought Xavier, and after a comfortable home win over my Mizzou Tigers, and now I’m hoping for a massive road win against the Fighting John Beileins in Ann Arbor on Friday. Ky’s short-term struggles mirror my long-term portfolio – a Virginia loss and a solid Utah win don’t bode well. Virginia should bounce back against Bradley over the weekend, but the damage has been done there. Utah, on the other hand, has a tough weekend ahead in the Puerto Rico Shootout featuring Butler and Miami (FL), among others.
Best Buy of the Week sponsored by Best Buy (not really…yet): Baylor, gained 103 points
Sharp Sell of the Week sponsored by Sharpie (hopefully soon): Wisconsin, lost 408 points
Non-conference tournaments this week and next week will present massive swing opportunities for all of us. Correctly nail a tourney champ and gain points, or sharply short a team that suffers multiple losses, and one of us could find ourselves with an early lead in the standings.