Callahan’s Guide To The 2022 Final Four

The sports analysts at Callahan & Associates wrap up March Madness with predictions based on credit union performance data. Which team will reign supreme?

The NCAA tournament will crown a champion this weekend in New Orleans. It’s going to be an action-packed weekend with four teams Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, and Villanova dreaming of reaching up to cut down the nets at the end of the final game.

This year’s tournament has provided plenty of story lines. The St. Peter’s Peacocks stole America’s heart but were eliminated in the Elite Eight. Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils are still dancing, and Kansas is back in the Final Four after being the favorite to win it all in 2020. The Jayhawks will be playing Villanova, the same team that trounced Kansas in the semifinal game in 2018.

This year, Callahan is reigniting a beloved tradition using credit union data to predict the outcome of each Final Four game. Three top-level growth rates will predict the semifinal games; share draft penetration, average member relationship, and delinquency will predict the championship.

First up, Villanova and Kansas face-off with Pennsylvania and Kansas credit union performance. Then Duke and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill two Tobacco Road schools that are only 10 miles apart take the court using Durham-area credit union performance and Chapel Hill-area credit union performance, respectively.

Semifinal #1: Villanova Vs. Kansas

Kansas is looking for revenge in this rematch of the 2018 Final Four game where Villanova handed the Jayhawks a 16-point loss. The team has grown a lot since then, and so have its state’s credit unions.

Let’s take a look at how Kansas compares to peers in Villanova’s home state of Pennsylvania.

Credit unions in Pennsylvania dominate in annual loan growth. They beat not only Pennsylvania cooperatives but also soar above the national average of 8.0%. Kansas, however, isn’t going to make this easy. Kansas credit unions grew assets at an impressive 11.8%, besting peers in the Keystone State by 1.8 percentage points. It all comes down to members, which credit unions in Pennsylvania grew by 4.4% in 2021 to solidify the victory for the Villanova Wildcats. In the end, the consistency and experience of Pennsylvania credit unions are too much for Kansas, which means the Jayhawks won’t be tasting revenge this year.

Winner: Villanova

Semifinal #2: Duke Vs. University of North Carolina

Duke will have to get through its rivals from down the street to make it to the championship game in Coach K’s historic final season. To get a sense of how close this rivalry is, of the past 100 meetings, each team has won 50 games. However, they’ve never met in the NCAA tournament, which makes this matchup a can’t-miss television event.

Durham credit unions will represent Duke. Credit unions with branches in the Chapel Hill area will represent UNC.

Chapel Hill credit unions start out strong in loan growth, which more than doubles their rivals across town. However, Durham credit unions come back strong with asset growth of 18.4% in 2021. The two teams are neck and neck going into the final metric.

These games are always close, and this isn’t an exception. Durham credit unions posted an impressive 11.7% annual member growth, almost tripling the national average to earn the victory and give Duke a spot in the national championship. It appears the Blue Devils will survive to play another day.

Winner: Duke

National Championship: Duke Vs. Villanova

This is sure to be an intense championship game between two storied basketball programs. The two teams have eight national championships between them, with Villanova winning its most recent one in 2018 and Duke in 2015.

Pennsylvania credit unions have a way of reaching out to members and encourage a primary banking relationship. Share draft penetration is a notable 57.9%. But Durham credit unions win points for encouraging banking relationships, too. The average member relationship for these credit unions is $24,011 a full $2,626 higher than their competition up north.

The quality of assets will decide which team will cut down the nets. Pennsylvania cooperatives boast an impressive 0.37% delinquency, compared to 0.91% for Durham credit unions. Lower is better for this metric, and Pennsylvania credit unions beat the national average by 12 basis points.

National Champion: Villanova

According to the credit union performance data, Villanova will reign supreme. This will be Villanova’s third championship in the past seven years, an eye-popping statistic considering only a handful of schools have won more than three championships in their entire existence. Villanova is a powerful team and continues to improve, much like its local credit unions.

What do you think? Drop your predictions in the comments below.

March 22, 2022

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