It’s time to cash out.

Warren Buffett agreed to fleece Dan Gilbert put up $1 billion of his own money to anyone who completes a perfect bracket in the Quicken Loans sponsored challenge. Now, we all could obviously use an extra billion dollars. I’d be able to pay off about a quarter of my Sallie Mae debt. And I could probably afford a Civic or something. And I figure you could find a thing or two to spend it on.

So how do we get this money?

There’s a cliché about this. Something like, “if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always get.” Well for me, that means pretending I know something about all these teams, making educated guesses, then bitter, crushing disappointment.

But this time there’s a billion dollars on the line.

So, it’s time to switch things up. Here is your unofficial guide to a billion dollars:

Picture YOUR name here

Picture YOUR name here

Eat some chalk

I know it’s no fun to pick favorites (commonly referred to as “chalk” teams). The bracket is always more fun with randomness…at least until the games that matter. But it’s time to admit the NCAA Selection Committee knows what it’s doing. Crazy upsets happen less often than it seems. When in doubt, pick the favorite and move on.

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By the way, that means Kentucky isn’t beating Wichita State.

The wisdom of the secretary

For this to work, you’re going to have to let go of the pesky idea that you actually know what’s going to happen.

It’ll be hard.

Like when you realized the Tooth Fairy lived in your house. Or when I realized women pooped (was in serious denial about this until about Junior year of undergrad).

Anyone who has filled out a bracket has lost to the secretary, or the foreign guy who has never seen a basketball game. Don’t get mad. Use that blind luck to profit.

Take a matchup you’re confused about, ask someone who could care less, and roll with it.

I tried it…and I have North Dakota State in my Sweet 16. DO NOT QUESTION THE WISDOM OF THE SECRETARY!

Have a favorite team? They probably suck

Chances are you’re like me. Your favorite teams usually don’t win the championship. I was incredibly close in last year’s tournament with my Michigan Wolverines. They were screwed lost a close one in the championship game to Louisville. Instead of being bitter, I’m embracing it. By the way, this was called a foul:

Your favorite team never wins. Don’t screw yourself out of a billion dollars being a fan.

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I have Michigan losing in the championship to Florida this year. Would it be a soul-crushing loss? Of course. But soul-crushing losses are what it means to be a sports fan.

Otherwise, I’d be one of those losers who only cheers for the Yankees, Seminoles, Patriots, and Heat. Hate those guys.

Think long, think wrong

The final piece of advice would be to set it and forget it when it comes to your bracket. You have no idea what’s going to happen anyway, so don’t stress about it.

Why spend 10 minutes agonizing over an Elite Eight matchup that won’t ever happen?

Don’t. Pick the favorite, trust the secretary, or pick against your favorite team.

Well there you have it: four foolproof steps to a perfect bracket and a billion dollars. If you’re reading this and do get Warren Buffett’s money, you owe me a hundred grand. This post is a contract.

Those are my keys to riches this year, what are yours? Who do you have taking it all this year?

Share your billion dollar secrets in the comments below!