The big day has arrived. Market Madness started with 64 companies eager to cut through the competition and make it to this final match-up and the chance to be declared the champion of Market Madness. The road has been long and arduous, so here's a brief recap of the action.
The first round was a wild one, with upsets galore. So many upsets that it almost made one wonder if the seeding was done based on a largely arbitrary system that didn't accurately predict performance. Three of the four seeds fell in the first round of action, including Apple (AAPL), which apparently had the one bad day for its stock since the start of the year on day one of the tournament. The first round also saw three 15 seeds upsetting two seeds, which was only one more than we had in March Madness this year.
The only one seed to survive the first round, Cobalt International Energy (CIE) in the Mid Major Bracket, lost in the second round, leaving the field wide open and the title any company's to take. Bank of America (BAC) continued to make a strong showing, making some analysts ponder if the lengthy bull-run by its stock would carry it all the way to the finals.
The Sweet Sixteen was filled with drama as Google (GOOG) knocked out Wells Fargo (WFC) in the blue-chip bracket, continuing its reign of taking down Warren Buffett's favorite stocks after eliminating Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) in the first round. Bank of America's wild run continued, and ultimate finalists Smith & Wesson (SWHC) and Alcoa (AA) started to make their presence felt.
The Final Four were finally set as Coca-Cola (KO) finally got its vengence for the entire Buffett portfolio by taking down Google and Bank of America continued to steamroll the competition.
The Final Four provided two tight matches, but it was Alcoa and Smith & Wesson that emerged in the end.
So, without further ado...
...the results of the final!
7. Smith & Wesson (SWHC) -1.27 percent over 3. Alcoa (AA) -1.57 percent
It might have been an ugly match up, but it was also one of the closest. Smith & Wesson appeared to have fired all of its ammunition just getting to the finals, but Alcoa crumpled down the stretch. The 0.3 percent difference makes for a razor-thin margin, and the final game proved to have all the excitement one could have hoped for.
Congratulations to Smith & Wesson, winner of the 2012 Market Madness Bracket!