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Welcome to Stock Madness 2008!

It's that time of year again -- when just about everyone goes cuckoo over college hoops. If you'd like to temper your NCAA March Madness insanity with a little stock-related competition, remember that it's also time for our annual Stock Madness tournament. Welcome to the Fool's Elite 8 competition!

Eight formidable stocks will compete for the next couple of weeks. Trust that there will be plenty of excitement as our analysts go head-to-head in favor of their stock "teams."

As was the case last year, we're tapping into our community-intelligence database Motley Fool CAPS to let you, our readers, vote for the winners. You'll mark your favorite contenders "outperform" (or vote against stocks by marking them "underperform").

You don't have to look further than Stock Madness 2007 to see how exciting this game can be. After all, wild card and Motley Fool Inside Value pick Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK  ) trounced such formidable rivals as Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) -- you could call it a significant upset since Apple fans are a force to be reckoned with -- and ultimately beat out Sasol (NYSE: SSL  ) , a pick of both Motley Fool Global Gains and Motley Fool Income Investor, in the final round.

There's method to this madness, though. Chesapeake Energy has proven to be a consistent winner for investors all year long; its stock has appreciated by roughly 50%. Sasol may have come in second, but it's no slouch either, up 48%.

In this year's tourney, we've got some interesting matchups to keep us on the edge of our seats. For example, Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) taking on Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A  ) (NYSE: BRK-B  ) . Take a wild guess what company's up against Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) . (Hint: it starts with "A"!). There are even a couple of stocks with much lower profiles: Could one of those less flashy names pull off some shocking upsets this year, like tiny Davidson College has pulled off in the NCAA tournament?

That's what makes March Madness -- and Stock Madness -- so much fun. Join us as we learn about new stock ideas that may be poised to win, explore the bull and bear cases for those and some of the best-known stocks around, and, above all, have a Foolish good time.

Now, let's tip off! View the entire bracket (because what would a Stock Madness tournament be without a bracket?), or check out the individual matchups:

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