Before 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games start on Tuesday, we know many of you are filling out your own tournament brackets at home and in the office.
“Just go with my gut,” says Dale Richmond.
It's a strategy about as effective as the others this time of year. It’s a guess at how to pick the perfect bracket for the 2018 tournament.
For Richmond, it's about keeping it in the region.
“I'm a Southern guy so I have to stay with somebody here in the Southeast,” Richmond said while examining a 2018 bracket.
For Sam Satterfield, it's a hometown approach.
“West Virginia, that's where I'm from, and they're in it again this year so hopefully they'll make it a little further than they did last year,” Satterfield says.
He also says picking some upsets can't hurt.
"You know, always a number 13 seed beats a four seed or whatever. But, you know like I said just gut feeling most of the time, I've heard everybody from you know flipping a coin to throwing a dart, to anything and most of the time that's just about as good!" Satterfield says laughing.
Shannon Tinney takes a different approach.
“My strategy was going online and doing some research because I don't watch a lot of basketball, however I know a lot of the other ladies' like to do the quick little pick kind of like the lotteries,” Tinney says.
They're not the only ones trying.
The American Gaming Association says millions will fill out a bracket like the 70 million filled out in 2015.
$10 billion will be wagered on this year's tournament and only three percent of that will be bet legally in Nevada, according to the AGA.
The rest, is in illegal sports gambling and yes, that probably includes your office's pick 'em pool, according to the AGA.
Office pools often have coworkers pay for each bracket they submit, and the top picker receives the whole sum of money. Two thirds of the states’ laws make it illegal to participate in those types of pools, according to the AGA.
The firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas Inc. says American employers will lose $2.3 billion an hour in productivity due to the tournament.
That's because so many people are picking teams and having fun watching, even if they don't win.
“I came close,” says Tinney referencing a past year when she picked Duke.
“I have not, no I have not. I've had a family member win but I haven’t won,” Richmond says.
“No no no, I always pick West Virginia,” Satterfield says.
Richmond and Satterfield's businesses are holding free bracket tournaments and the best bracket will get a prize.
Satterfield & Dempsey Jewelers are giving away a watch. First Response Services, which Richmond owns, is giving away a handgun to the top picker. Both tournaments are free to enter and entry information is on their respective social media pages.
You can compete against the 13 WMAZ sports team in our bracket challenge group here.
The 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament will be broadcast on the CBS family of networks.