In the competitive spirit of college basketball's annual championship tournament, The Motley Fool brings you Stock Madness 2007! Our writers are making head-to-head arguments for their chosen stocks (but not necessarily investment recommendations -- this is, after all, a game), and you'll pick the winners with your article recommendations and Motley Fool CAPS ratings. Who will win the right to cut down the net? Let's tip things off and find out!

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) versus eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) is a marquee matchup between two stellar "digital economy" powerhouses. But make no mistake about it, these two companies have radically different approaches and, of the two, I believe Intel is better position for the long run.

eBay is a formidable competitor whose game has caused a lot of traditional retailers to adjust to the new rules of the digital economy, but, really, the company is all about the outside game. After all, it has made a name for itself by taking the big middleman out of millions of ordinary transactions.

Intel, on the other hand, is all about the inside game, or, more aptly, the "Intel inside" game. Its forte is building the components that fuel the digital economy, and it has been hammering away inside for years. During that time, it has matured into the largest and most dominant player in the business world's toughest and most competitive conference -- the semiconductor industry. Think about it. Year after year, all Intel has to do to survive is create a product that is twice as good -- at about half the price.

Some might argue that Intel is ripe for the picking because of its late-season swoon which saw its stock lose 11% of its value since February. But far from making the company vulnerable to defeat, this humbling experience has only served to stiffen its resolve.

For instance, last week it beat out fellow rivals Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE:TSM) and STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) to land a promising, young Yao Ming-like recruit when the Chinese government announced it had approved Intel's plans to build a $2.5 billion 90-nanometer chip facility in that country. When completed in 2008, the facility will be capable of cranking out millions of chips for China's fast-growing market for cell phone and PC users.

The company also recently announced that it would selling a line of solid-state drives with up to eight gigabytes of storage capacity. This bold move will put it in direct competition with SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK) and Seagate in the always competitive data storage industry.

Madness, you say? Perhaps, but no one can accuse Intel of padding its schedule with easy opponents. The best teams aren't afraid to venture onto the opposing team's home court and take them on at their own game, and that is exactly what Intel is doing in this case. Its solid-state devices are expected to consume less power, have faster read/write speeds, and longer lifetimes.

I don't want to accuse the company of already looking ahead to the next round, but Intel officials have indicated that its researchers are working on a new low-power chip designed for devices that will compete with Apple's (NASDAQ:APPL) iPhone. If they can meet the demanding power, space, and performance requirements that such devices demand, the work could create another big opportunity for the company. And isn't that what winners do -- create opportunities for themselves?

But let me assure you Intel isn't looking ahead. This company understands it can never let up -- not even for a second -- and it is taking nothing for granted. Sure, Intel beat rival Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) to the market with its quad-core chip this past November, but it knows AMD's new quad-core processors will soon be out and that it needs to bring its game every day.

And Intel is doing exactly that. Earlier this month, management announced that its newest version of the four-processor Xeon chip will draw 38% to 58% less electrical power than its earlier models. This is the kind of peak performance that will allow the company to keep racketing up victories in both today's and tomorrow's digital economy.

It is also the kind of tough, experienced game that one expects from a company looking to compete for the crown. It can not just wear an opponent down inside, it can also open up exciting new opportunities for the outside game.

Does this stock deserve to move onto the next round? If you think so, simply follow this link and rank the stock "outperform" in Motley Fool CAPS. If not, vote it "underperform." Later this week, we'll tally your votes to determine which stocks will advance one step closer to the title.

Read our opposing article on eBay, or see all of the other entries in this tournament.

Fool contributor Jack Uldrich still loves an underdog and after Creighton's defeat, he has now switched his allegiance to Butler. He also still respects a power game, and that is why he owns stock in Intel. The Fool has a strict disclosure policy.