Bracketology: The winner of the Cook Hall cocktail contest is …

The remnants of the bracket — a mess of mixing, finally ended.

The NCAA picked their champion b-ball team last night (congrats, Louisville), but today is when we reveal the most important bracket results: The cocktails at the W’s Cook Hall. We started with a Sweet Sixteen, whittled it down to an Elite Eight and now stand at a Final Four. Well, here we go: The finals!

In the Battle of the Ampersands — the Dark & Stormy versus the Gin & Sin — it was sweet rum against a surprisingly fruit gin concoction. Even I was surprised that my best pal gin couldn’t stand up to the complex delights of rum. The D&S enters the final as the longshot.

Longshot, because if there’s one thing I like more than gin, it’s bourbon, so despite the unexpected strength showed by the beery Shandy, the Mint Julep goes into the last round as the favorite.

But nothing’s for sure. I tasted and retasted the Dark & Stormy and the Julep as Cook Hall’s mixologists plotted it. The Julep had heart, the Julep had the hometown advantage … but the D&S had the points. It’s the Dark & Stormy at the buzzer!

And that’s my top cocktail at Cook Hall.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

My Cook Hall cocktail bracket is down to the Final Four

IMG_6984

Last week, I did a Sweet Sixteen bracket, not for NCAA men’s basketball, but for the cocktails at Cook Hall. The gastropub at the W Hotel asked me to judge the creations customers can make with their offered cocktail kits. You can follow them on Facebook and win stuff if you can guess the outcome.) This week, it’s time to whittle the selections down to the Final Four.

The top of the bracket is a matchup between the scotch-laced Mark Twain and the rum-based Dark & Stormy. This is one of my favorite pairings, because both provide some unexpected depth on the bench. Up against another competitor, the Mark Twain would have gone in a favorite but the winner here is the D&S.

That cocktail will take on the winner between a classic Margarita and the fruity-but-gin-soaked Gin & Sin. For me, it was barely a contest. Gin has it all over tequila when it comes to the long stretch, and the G&S bumps against the D&S in the Final Four. It’ll be a battle of the ampersands.

The Cinderella story that has been the Shandy — a beer creation with kick and fruit — continues, as it upsets one of the two bourbon drinks in the lineup, the Pit Master. It’s a terrible blow to Kentucky fans, but it wouldn’t be a tourney without some out-of-the-blue victors.

Kentucky does get represented, though, in the bottom of the bracket with its favorite son, the Mint Julep. It could have been a rum-away with the D&S already in, but the upstart Mojito caved to the wily excess of the julep.

Next week, we’ll get down to the Final Four, with the Dark & Stormy/Gin & Sin and the Shandy/Julep. But really, when you drink this much, there are no losers.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Chandler Parsons shirtless!!!

Chandler Parsons

So I’m probably a little biased since I went to the University of Florida, but I’m saying the hottest player in this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is Gators senior Chandler Parsons (right), who’ll be taking the court later today against the Mormons of BYU in the Sweet 16. In my mind Parsons is this year’s version of Butler’s Gordon Hayward, in the sense that he’s both good-looking AND a great player. Anyhow, it will be fun to watch Parsons and the Gators take on Jimmer Fredette and the BYU Cougars this evening. Not surprisingly, I couldn’t find a shirtless photo of Fredette. In case you missed it, BYU dismissed one of its starting players, Brandon Davies, earlier this year after he admitted to having premarital sex with his girlfriend. Parsons and UF coach Bill Donovan were asked about the controversy during a press conference last night. Watch their response above.

Jimmer Fredette

—  John Wright

NCAA Ironing Out Trans Athlete Rules

Kye Allums X390 (GETTY VIA DAILY NEWS) | ADVOCATE.COMThe governing body of college sports has clarified its stance on
allowing student athletes to undergo medical gender transition
procedures while remaining eligible to play.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Kye Allums, The First Trans Man to Play NCAA Division I Basketball

When college basketbal player Kye Allums (nee Kay-Kay) hits the court Nov. 13 for George Washington University's season opener, it'll be the first time an openly trans Division I player plays ball. The junior, a Minnesota native who grew up resisting his mother's best efforts to dress him in feminine clothes, began coming out to teammates as trans during his sophomore year, and eventually managed to have that conversation in June with head coach Mike Bozeman, who told his he would always have his back.

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Queerty

—  admin