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For more than 10 years, Jim Cramer has found creative ways to teach people how to become better investors—but this one takes the cake. As most basketball fans will be filling out their NCAA team brackets this week, Cramer decided to raise the stakes on bracketology and fill out names to add to your stock portfolio.
"The idea here is to look at the top-seeded names in the NCAA and use them as a lens to help you understand why we like some of our absolute favorite stocks," said the "Mad Money" host.
To begin, the No. 1 seed is the University of Kentucky Wildcats, an overwhelming favorite for the whole tournament. If Kentucky ends up sweeping the tournament, it will be the first team to finish the season undefeated since Indiana in 1976.
Likewise, Cramer compared Kentucky to monster powerhouse Apple. This is perhaps one of the most dominant companies on the planet with a massive market cap. And just like Kentucky, it has an amazing head coach: Tim Cook.
"It hasn't let you down yet, and I think its run is far from finished, just like—I hate to say it because I didn't pick them—Kentucky's likely to cruise to the crown," Cramer added.
Next up is the University of Kansas, the KU Jayhawks. And while Cramer considers it to be one of the most classic names in college basketball, it's had a tough run, thanks to a difficult schedule. Shadowing Kentucky is tough, and many have already written off Kansas.
To Cramer, KU reminds him of General Motors. It's a very well-run company that has had a lot of bad publicity. Do we even need to talk about the deadly ignition recall or the switch issue? Yikes!
"Just like Kansas, I think it would be foolish to write this one off, especially with the stock trading at only 7.6 times next year's earnings estimates," Cramer said.
A few of the speculative, lower ranked plays on Cramer's radar are Notre Dame and Maryland. The Fighting Irish didn't make it to the tournament after an ugly season last year, and now it's back on top. This reminded Cramer of Starbucks. It underperformed last year, and thanks to the leadership of Howard Schultz, Cramer thinks it will have an amazing year in 2015.
As for Maryland, well, it's just lucky to be there. It won a lot of games in the past season just by a small margin when it faced off against bad or mediocre teams. But it also won big games, too, so Cramer just doesn't know how good the Terps really are.
"In short, this is a cult basketball team that I find very reminiscent of Tesla, the ultimate cult stock, " Cramer said.
Read more from Mad Money with Jim Cramer
Cramer Remix: Make a fortune on these 4 stocks
Cramer March Madness: Top eastern stocks
Cramer: Secret biotech opportunities
In Cramer's perspective, Tesla doesn't trade based on its bottom line or earnings. People buy the stock because they love the car and the sexy press releases. That makes it hard to value for him.
So for every 10 minutes spent on March Madness brackets, Cramer wants investors to spend just five minutes researching top stocks like Apple, General Motors and Starbucks. Chances are, you could walk away with a heck of a lot more money than just a basketball bracket.