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Ackman, Einhorn Among Leaders in Charity Basketball Brackets

Updated on
  • Synchrony’s Margaret Keane tops leader board, but... Arizona
  • Villanova the clear favorite among Wall Street luminaries
Wall Street Vets Take a Shot at 'Brackets for a Cause'

Arizona’s upset might’ve blown up a few brackets, but Bill Ackman and David Einhorn are still in contention.

The billionaire hedge fund investors have standout brackets among the 42 titans of business and finance participating in Bloomberg’s Brackets for a Cause. Ackman’s choice to win this year’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, the Villanova Wildcats, cruised to the second round, while Einhorn nailed 14 of the 16 first-round games and can still notch a perfect Sweet 16.

Synchrony Financial CEO Margaret Keane had the best opening day, correctly picking 15 of the games. Her one miss? Buffalo’s upset of fourth-seeded Arizona in the South Region. That likely busted her bracket since she had the Wildcats in the title game.

Eight others had the PAC 12 champions playing in the Final Four, including Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer. Perhaps they were too enamored of hot NBA prospects Deandre Ayton and Allonzo Trier.

There was one notable short on Arizona: Jim Chanos had the only bracket picking the Upstate upstarts to pull off the upset.

Money on Villanova

Executives, fund managers pick Wildcats to win it all.

Data compiled by Bloomberg

Others: Michigan State (2), Kansas (2), Xavier (2), Cincinnati (1), Purdue (1), Penn (1)

Villanova is the clear favorite on Wall Street, with 16 participants predicting they’ll cut down the nets on April 2. Duke and Virginia were the second most popular picks, with seven title nods each. Paul Tudor Jones and Cliff Asness like the Cavaliers, while Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman and bitcoin enthusiast Michael Novogratz have the Blue Devils.

Ken Moelis is the only participant whose predicted winner bowed out on the first day of action. In a likely case of heart over head, he picked his alma mater, the Pennsylvania Quakers, to take home the national title. The 16 seed fell to Kansas 76-60.

Each of the participants is donating $10,000, with the total pot going to the charities of the three participants with the most accurate brackets.

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