In today's ­first round match-up of The Motley Fool Better-Buy Tournament, New York Community Bancorp squares off against LinkedIn in a battle to determine which stock is the better buy now. The 64-company tournament pits two Motley Fool analysts against each as they make the case for their stocks, with the winner determined by you, the readers.

Imagine a company that has delivered a remarkable return of 4,300% since its IPO in 1993, versus a 500% return of the S&P 500. Sound too good to be true? It isn't, according to Motley Fool analyst Patrick Morris. And while you may imagine it's a technology firm, it's actually regional banking titan New York Community Bancorp (NYSE:NYCB).

When you consider its remarkable discipline, which has led to astounding growth, great returns with its return on tangible equity of 16%, a reasonable valuation, and incredible safety, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better buy in March -- or any other month.

Motley Fool tech analyst Jamal Carnette argues that LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD.DL) should move in to the next round because it is a visionary company. LinkedIn has defined, and will continue to define, the job search experience through networking effects and innovation. The company is adding to its nearly 300 million members by expanding into Asia in a big way and is working on mobile to improve the end user experience. LinkedIn is a clear choice to advance.

Watch these analysts square off in the video below, then vote for a winner. Then check out the other companies in the Motley Fool Better-Buy Bracket

This year's winning stock?
There's a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Cast your vote in the poll below the video!