Alex Ovechkin is dedicated to hockey but he has an appreciation for basketball too. After all, his mom was an Olympic basketball player for the Soviet Union.
So like any basketball fan in March, the Washington Capitals captain took the time to fill out a bracket for the NCAA Tournament. At first he seemed mildly interested until Ovi was informed that if he picked a completely perfect bracket, he would win $1 billion. Even for a guy who has enough financial security to last a lifetime between he and his fiancee that was enough to pop Ovechkin's eyes and pep his step.
When it came to the actual selections, Ovi had a little help but stayed mostly chalk through the Round of 64. About the only way to upset the higher seed was if that school had any ties to the DC area like George Washington.
Ovi had to make the truly difficult decisions in his own way such as picking Syracuse over Kansas because Sasha (his nickname) starts with an S and Kansas can't match that kind of cool. Perhaps the best, though, was picking New Mexico over Stanford because burritos trump smart guys. Ovi was flummoxed when New Mexico State appeared elsewhere in the bracket and all of a sudden the burrito magic couldn't overcome this obstacle.
In his Final Four, Ovechkin ended up two two four seeds, a two seed and a one. Of course that one was the University of Virginia, easily considered the weakest of the top seeds. But Ovi lives in Virginia so he had to go the political route.
Will that bracket win $1 billion? Probably not but Ovechkin should be just fine.
S/t Puck Daddy