Bracket mania: We all scream for ice cream!   

Updated: April 8, 2009, 9:46 AM ET

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Ice Cream Castles. I know, I should've had a Morris Day and The Time bracket. Some people will also wonder why Stone Cold Creamery didn't get a regional nod over one of the other four. Simple: They are Beatrice. They don't make ice cream, they make ice cream better.

Ben & Jerry's

AP Photo/Toby Talbot

Here's a little girl who loves her ice cream.

What began as a joke became a labor of intense research on the subject of organic frozen flavored dairy. From popularity to production. All of a sudden, it got serious. More important than finding the appropriate flavors was collecting a legit sample of people who've tasted the bulk of the ice creams who made it to the Big Dance.

Data was processed, notes were taken, samples were sampled. Weight was gained. And the one criteria that stood out above all others: indulgence. Can you sink into the product, beyond just the taste of it? As one tester said about one of the creams that lost in the Elite Eight: "It tastes great, but I'm not sure I would want to curl up on the couch and eat a half gallon of it." That became the key to how all these were judged.

Even when certain flavors could not be tasted, comments were made that told the stories of survival and advancement. For instance, in the battle between A&W Root Beer Float vs. Vanilla Bean. Vanilla Bean won because: "You can always buy some root beer and pour it over the Vanilla Bean and call it a day." About Jamaican Me Crazy: "I don't want jerk chicken wings flavor in my ice cream." About the Toasted Coconut Sesame Brittle: "How do you put sesame in an ice cream? Sesame goes on a bun. You can mess around and fail a drug test eating this ice cream." About the Pomegranate Chip: "Does it have vodka in it?"

Eventually, all flavors would fall to the one that, in the end, was the best of three worlds. The perfect ice cream when done correctly. And in the process of finding which one would capture the fascination of a nation, win six battles against serious challengers, and come away still delicious after sampling 64 different flavors, we found the one flavor that is equivalent to morphing UCLA, UNC and UK's basketball histories -- in other words, legendairy.

(Winning teams shown in bold)

Baskin-Robbins Region

First Round
(1) Vanilla vs. (16) Mint Chocolate Chip

(8) Reese's Peanut Butter Cup vs. (9) Pralines 'n Cream

(5) Very Berry Strawberry vs. (12) Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough


AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Couldn't fit 31 flavors in the Baskin-Robbins region, unfortunately.

(4) Oreo Cookies 'n Cream vs. (13) Jamoca

(6) Love Potion #31 vs. (11) Pistachio Almond

(3) Strawberry vs. (14) Nutty Coconut

(7) Heath vs. (10) Rainbow Sherbet

(2) Chocolate vs. (15) Cherries Jubilee

Second Round
(1) Vanilla vs. (9) Pralines 'n Cream

(4) Oreo Cookies 'n Cream vs. (12) Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

(3) Strawberry vs. (6) Love Potion #31

(2) Chocolate vs. (7) Heath

Round of 16
(9) Pralines 'n Cream vs. (12) Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

(2) Chocolate vs. (3) Strawberry

Regional Final
(2) Chocolate vs. (9) Pralines 'n Cream

Ben & Jerry's Region

First Round
(1) Cherry Garcia vs. (16) Yes Pecan!

(8) Mission to Marzipan vs. (9) Banana Split

(5) Chocolate Therapy vs. (12) Dublin Mudslide

AmeriCone Dream

AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

Yes, Stephen Colbert has his own flavor of ice cream.

(4) Neapolitan Dynamite vs. (13) Stephen Colbert's AmeriCone Dream

(6) Half Baked vs. (11) Karamel Sutra

(3) Mint Chocolate Cookie vs. (14) Berried Treasure

(7) Chubby Hubby vs. (10) Imagine Whirled Peace

(2) Jamaican Me Crazy vs. (15) S'mores

Second Round
(1) Cherry Garcia vs. (9) Banana Split

(4) Neapolitan Dynamite vs. (5) Chocolate Therapy

(3) Mint Chocolate Cookie vs. (11) Karamel Sutra

(7) Chubby Hubby vs. (15) S'mores

Round of 16
(1) Cherry Garcia vs. (4) Neapolitan Dynamite

(7) Chubby Hubby vs. (11) Karamel Sutra

Regional Final
(4) Neapolitan Dynamite vs. (11) Karamel Sutra

Häagen-Dazs Region

First Round
(1) Dulce de Leche vs. (16) Pomegranate Chip

(8) Mint Chip vs. (9) Crème Brulée

(5) Brown Sugar vs. (12) Hawaiian Lehua Honey & Sweet Cream


AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Did you know Häagen-Dazs started with only three flavors? Vanilla, chocolate and coffee.

(4) Vanilla Bean vs. (13) Pineapple Coconut

(6) White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle vs. (11) Brazilian Acai Berry Sorbet

(3) Rum Raisin vs. (14) Orchard Peach

(7) Caramel Cone vs. (10) Baileys Irish Cream

(2) Mango vs. (15) Toasted Coconut Sesame Brittle

Second Round
(1) Dulce de Leche vs. (9) Crème Brulée

(4) Vanilla Bean vs. (5) Brown Sugar

(3) Rum Raisin vs. (6) White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle

(2) Mango vs. (10) Baileys Irish Cream

Round of 16
(4) Vanilla Bean vs. (9) Crème Brulée

(2) Mango vs. (3) Rum Raisin

Regional Final
(3) Rum Raisin vs. (4) Vanilla Bean

Breyers Region

First Round
(1) Rocky Road vs. (16) Waffle Cone

(8) Creamy Vanilla Double Churn vs. (9) A&W Root Bear Float

(5) Fried Ice Cream vs. (12) Brownie Mud Pie

Breyers Ice Cream


Chocolate Crackle couldn't get out of the first round, faced with M&M Cookie Dough.

(4) Sara Lee Strawberry Cheesecake vs. (13) Bubble Yum Original

(6) M&M Cookie Dough vs. (11) Chocolate Crackle

(3) NASCAR Checkered Flag Vanilla & Chocolate vs. (14) Coffee

(7) Cappuccino Chocolate Crunk vs. (10) Vanilla Fudge Twirl

(2) Creamsicle vs. (15) Chocolate Mocha Silk Double Churn

Second Round
(1) Rocky Road vs. (8) Creamy Vanilla Double Churn

(4) Sara Lee Strawberry Cheesecake vs. (12) Brownie Mud Pie

(3) NASCAR Checkered Flag Vanilla & Chocolate vs. (6) M&M Cookie Dough

(2) Creamsicle vs. (7) Cappuccino Chocolate Crunk

Round of 16
(1) Rocky Road vs. (4) Sara Lee Strawberry Cheesecake

(2) Creamsicle vs. (3) NASCAR Checkered Flag Vanilla & Chocolate

Regional Final
(2) Creamsicle vs. (4) Sara Lee Strawberry Cheesecake

Final Four

Chocolate vs. Neapolitan Dynamite

Vanilla Bean vs. Creamsicle

Championship Game
Neapolitan Dynamite vs. Creamsicle


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