Q: Coach Jayson, can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming match with Joey Khattab's squad?

A: Well, to paraphrase Drederick Tatum, he's a good man. I like him. But I'm definitely gonna make orphans of his children. I'm fielding an all mall-rat squad, including Gap (NYSE:GPS), Target (NYSE:TGT), Zumiez (NASDAQ:ZUMZ), True Religion (NASDAQ:TRLG), and Hot Topic (NASDAQ:HOTT). These guys have something for everyone -- they run the gamut from underestimated giants to streaking newcomers. They'll crush that uncoordinated mess that Coach K. calls a "team" -- ExxonMobil, World Wrestling Entertainment, Hansen Natural, Red Hat, and Blackboard.

Q: What about the matchup under the hoop?

A: I'm betting Khattab'll put Exxon in the big man's role, but I think our towering old Gap can walk all over him. Yeah, y'all know I've said that Gap's old and slow, but Gap is also solid, and here's why he'll surprise you: No one expects anything from him. Even after that awful performance last month, his fan base barely budged. And Khattab's Ex-man -- well, he's coasting these days, but the crowd is against big oil, and the government is even on his case for allegedly taking liberties with the American people. I don't think he did those things they say he did, but it might not matter either way. It's bound to hold him back.

Q: What about your ball-handlers?

A: We've got two of the hottest guards on the court. Sure, they're an odd couple. Zum is a skater dude. And True -- well, it's true he runs with the $300 jeans-wearin', my-Mama-bought-me-a-Lexus crowd, but Zumiez and True Religion have been unstoppable for the past couple of years. Just look at the chart. Revenues and profits have been soaring, and these two youngsters have a long way left to go before they run out of steam. What's Coach K. got to throw against them? Blackboard and Red Hat? Give me a break. They're both fine players, but they're long in the tooth among the fast-movers. Blackboard sprained his earnings last week, and I doubt he's gonna run right for a year or more. Red Hat? He's already priced for perfection, if you ask me. I just don't think there's any way he can live up to his expectations. He drops one ball on his toe, and that'll be the end of it.

Q: What's the key to this first-round game?

A: The matchup at forwards is what concerns me most. I'm betting Coach K. drops Hansen and the grappler in those forward spots. I'm sure Target can match up with Hansen, once again, because Hansen's really just hawking buzz juice, and I really think the expectations are way too high. Target is a lot bigger. He's also entrenched, polished, and therefore a lot more consistent. He'll be posting up and shooting high percentages long after the Street's going, "Hansen who?"

If anybody on Khattab's team worries me, it's that wrassler. As you know, he plays for one of my teams in the off-season, so I know he's solid -- always brings in a steady fan base and really pays the dividends. Hott is gonna have to do a lot to keep up, and Hott's been pretty sick lately. Personally, I've never been too excited about Hott's goth crowd, but if he can turn it up and get on the proper side of the leverage curve, he'll zip past WWE in no time flat. But even if we concede this one to the chair-swinger, one stock does not a team make.

Joey Khattab's rebuttal
Seth, I'm just not buying what you're selling. Your stocks are subject to the whims of teen fashion. Will True Religion stay true? Will Gap mount a heroic comeback? Will I buy my entire summer wardrobe at Hot Topic? You simply cannot provide much in terms of concrete answers.

As a betting man, I'd say plunking money down on your team is like betting against the Harlem Globetrotters. Like Homer Simpson, you may think your Generals are due for a win, but I'm betting on the sure thing.

Gap is both a Stock Advisor and Inside Value recommendation. Blackboard is a Hidden Gems pick. Take the newsletter that best fits your investing style for a30-day free spin.

Can Seth's mall-rat squad take down Joey's wild bunch? It's in your hands. Check out Joey's team, then cast your vote !

Seth Jayson is feeding his team a steady diet of kelp and unprocessed egg whites. At the time of publication, he had shares of Blackboard, but no positions in any other company mentioned here. Joey Khattab relies on the behind-the-backboard shot whenever he plays H.O.R.S.E. Joey owns shares of WWE and Blackboard. Fool rules arehere.