The time has come. The Final Four is here. Before we hop into it, let’s do a quick recap. John Thrasher was the one seed, coming out of the “Distinguished Individuals/Institutions” region where he took down the new classroom organization program, Canvas, squeaked by an extremely impressive Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and went head to head versus Hurricane Irma, where he summoned the powers of Willie Taggart to avenge a semester that was all to used to losing to hurricanes.
President Thrasher will be going up against FSU Admissions, an arguably underseeded 5-seed out of the “Achievements” Region. Their record setting applications of 51,000 students helped them power past a successful year in research, the magnificent fundraising attainment by this year’s Dance Marathon, and the newly discovered most powerful magnet in the world. Admissions faces Thrasher in the first semi-final so it’ll be interesting to see how these high schoolers face up against the biggest man on campus.
On the other side of the bracket comes a 2-seed out of the “Tailgate” Region in the Men’s Basketball team where they’ll be making their first Final Four appearance since 1972, where they lost in the final to the college basketball dynasty of UCLA. But, in the modern era, this Florida State team did something special as they not only made run during March Madness, they made a run in this bracket beating out a outstanding Men’s Track & Field Team, an up and coming Ka’Tia Seymour, and a man that breathes hope into the lives of Florida State football fans everyday, Willie Taggart.
FSU Hoops is going up against the 4-seed from who conquered the miscellaneous, “Everything that Falls in Between” region, The Eggplant. With the help of their first matchup, John Walker, The Eggplant cruised through the slew of On-Campus Renovations that are a constant happening at Florida State, and uncovered the “hypothetical” conspiracy where the Bed Bugs of the Williams building colluded with the cockroaches of Diffenbaugh to terrorize Fiction Technique professors and poetry students who probably ended up writing a poem about it.
Enough jibber-jabber, let’s get into the thick of things and figure out who’s taking home this year’s Official Spire Winner of FSU 2017-2018. Giddy-up!
(Level 8’s 1-seed) John Thrasher vs. (Proof Brewing’s 5-seed) FSU Admissions
Throughout this entire bracket I have tried to stay consistent with the school year we are in, using context from this semester and the one before it to lay a foundation of arguments of how the two competitors look against one another. Sometimes this was an analysis of pure achievements or an objective measurement (attendees, money raised, etc.), and other times it was made in pure opinion. In this case, we have a matchup that is a mixed bag, as John Thrasher does not have an objective number, like FSU Admissions does with a mindblowing 51,000 applicants for the summer and fall semesters, Thrasher had to deal with Greek Life bans and un-bans, the tragic death of Andrew Coffey, and the falling apart of the one thing that makes the parts of the fall semester bearable, football season. There is no doubt President Thrasher had a difficult year, but his resilience and overall attitude throughout the year are what got him here, as the seasoned politician did not come close to breaking.
Thrasher has a tough opponent in the cinderella story of FSU Admissions, as it not only beat the most powerful magnet in the world, it also brought in a large amount of graduate applications ringing in at over 10,000 applicants. The associate dean of Business Operations at the Graduate school credits a new web inquiry marketing tool: “Now we are able to not only send marketing messages, but we can personalize those messages. It’s all about creating the connection, so they can visualize seeing themselves here at FSU.” Looking at the present is important for the foundational directive of the bracket but as I have used examples from the past to help lasso in some context in some matchups, I think the true marker of success is where these competitors will lead Florida State in the future. John Thrasher had a wild year and he did his best to try and take the goods with the bads, but he was focused on the present – as he should be. FSU Admissions, on the other hand, is all about the future of the University, as they are ringing in a new expectation for Florida State, an expectation of desire and need to be at this institution. With that being said, the future of Florida State is directly in the hands of both of these seeds, but what puts FSU Admissions above President Thrasher, is the nonpartisan number of 51,000 – something that is the new benchmark for Florida State success.
Winner: FSU Admissions
(Madison Social’s 2-seed) FSU Men’s Basketball vs. (Bullwinkles’ 4-seed) The Eggplant
Outside of the The Eggplant’s investigative journalistic bomb-shells they have had a pretty solid year with their traditional satire – with instant classics like, “English Major with No Finals Just Wants Everyone to Know How Great Her Life Is Going,” and “TPD Announces Formation of Raccoon Cop Division to Comb Through Every Student Athlete’s Trash,” (a timely article just after Florida State’s quarterback Deondre Francois’ marijuana fiasco). Unfortunately for The Eggplant, my own personal experience/bias takes over here. Growing up a massive college basketball fan, and avid March Madness viewer I was waiting for the year Florida State would not only make the tournament but play their best in it – and that year they did. Despite a mere four point loss to Michigan in the Elite Eight (a game that could have easily gone the other way – WHY DIDN’T WE FOUL?!?!), FSU Men’s Basketball had the most notable year out of all Florida State athletics, and to use the “outlook towards the future,” measurement I used for the previous semi-final – the future is bright. Both ESPN and CBS Sports have Florida State in their “Way-Too-Early Top 25” projections, as ESPN has them at number 23, and CBS at number 14. The team will also have the bulk of their starting-five returning – despite the graduation of Braian Angola and the transfer of C.J. Walker, so the college basketball world better watch out because this team now has experience, and they know they can compete with anyone in the country. It should be fun season next year. Although The Eggplant captivated the spirit of investigative journalism – it was something that wasn’t immediately known, something that we didn’t direct our attention to instantaneously, something that didn’t capture our hearts and bring us closer together. The Eggplant is something special, and has definitely had an effect on me throughout my four years here, but I will always remember Florida State’s run as a “basketball school” in the spring of 2018.
Winner: FSU Men’s Basketball
Who “won” FSU 2017-2018? The Championship
(Madison Social’s 2-seed) FSU Men’s Basketball vs. (Proof Brewing’s 5-seed) FSU Admissions
The two finalists are testaments to a bizzare year gone right. Whether you are looking at the overwhelming amount of high school students who desire to be a Florida State student, or the fun behind FSU’s cinderella story in our rag-tag basketball team knocking off blue-bloods such as Xavier and Gonzaga, both of these competitors have earned their spot in the Championship. Not to cut to the chase or anything, but I am picking FSU Admissions as my winner for this years “Who ‘Won’ FSU, 2017-2018,” and here’s why: this class of high schoolers have been brought up during an interesting time in American history, and are ringing in a new generation of student. With most of them being born in 2000 or 2001, all of their lives have been lived in a post-9/11 era, with most of their conscious lives being lived in a time where the presidency was either represented by an auspicious historical moment, in the first African-American president, or a President that represents of the postmodern world we live in, colliding the worlds of celebrity/entertainment with the world of what could be seen as boring and mundane politics. I know I spent most of my life in this era, being born early in 1996, and I’m not trying to pull the “generational superiority” card, I’m just trying to provide some perspective. So bear with me. Throwing political views aside, it is obvious that some of these high schoolers are in the national spotlight, such as David Hogg or Emma González due to the tragedy of the Parkland High School Shooting fighting for change. It feels as if a generational chapter is coming to an end, and a new page is being turned (whether you want to call it Generation Z or Millenial 2.0), and with that transition, Florida State is opening its arms to this new chapter, with 6,200 freshmen of the 51,000 that applied choosing to enroll. 2018 March Madness will always have a special place in my heart, but Florida State is about to accept, teach, and mold a what-feels-like new generation of ‘Nole.
Winner: FSU Admissions