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Cramer's March Madness: Top southern stock picks

To honor the time of year when most are making their NCAA tournament bracket selections, Jim Cramer is honoring this tradition by starting his own March Madness—"Mad Money" style!

"We've got our own version of bracketology here on 'Mad Money' that's much more interesting than just picking Kentucky to go all the way," Cramer said.

To begin, the "Mad Money" host selected his top two seeded college basketball teams in each region and paired them with a stock market equivalent, along with a few surprise speculative plays that he thinks you should watch carefully.

Starting with the NCAA southern region, the top two seeds are Duke and Gonzaga University.





Aaron Harrison #2 of the Kentucky Wildcats goes to the basket as Ryan Boatright #11 of the Connecticut Huskies defends during the NCAA Men's Final Four Championship at AT&T Stadium on April 7, 2014 in Arlington, Texas.
Getty Images
Aaron Harrison #2 of the Kentucky Wildcats goes to the basket as Ryan Boatright #11 of the Connecticut Huskies defends during the NCAA Men's Final Four Championship at AT&T Stadium on April 7, 2014 in Arlington, Texas.

In Cramer's opinion Duke is a lot like Disney, with both representing amazing branding with a fabulous head coach.

"I mean this stock got downgraded today, big splash, and it went up anyways—that's almost home court advantage," Cramer added.

Duke's head coach Mike Krzyzewski just became the very first coach to have 1,000 wins under his belt in January. Likewise that record reminds Cramer of Disney CEO Bob Iger, who has tripled the stock value since he took over some 10 years ago.

Then there is the second seed pick in the southern region, Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Of course Cramer immediately thought of Boeing, a strong company with top leadership and roots in Washington.

"Gonzaga has become a blue chip name in college basketball, with 15 consecutive NCAA appearances, and in the same way, Boeing is absolutely a must-own stock," Cramer said.

Lately, both Boeing and Gonzaga have been on fire. In 2013 Gonzaga was the No. 1 seed, and this year it's No. 2 for the second time. Boeing has shown the same strength, with its stock doubling since 2012. Cramer thinks Boeing has room to fly even higher with the low price of oil, too.

Then there are a few other speculative picks in the bracket spots that Cramer can help you pick. His top three spec teams are Georgetown, St. John's and San Diego State.

Cramer thinks Georgetown is a lot like Cisco. Both franchises had big glory days in the past and seem to be steadily working their way back on to the court.

St. John's reminds Cramer of Shake Shack, because it's a great product without depth. And while Shake Shack only had 93 stores when it came public in January, St. John's has a great starting lineup but no bench.

"You know I believe in Shake Shack as a longer-term story, but short-term, it's possible that both it and St. John's are overvalued. That could hurt you with St. John's, but I see the Shack growing into its market cap," Cramer added.

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Cramer will also have his eye on San Diego State, which, just like Actavis, is a great closer. The team has won 145 straight games, just as Actavis' stock has quadrupled in the past four years, thanks to serial acquisitions. He thinks this stock has a lot more room to run.

"Ask yourself, how much have those other bracketology shows made you? Enough said."

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