For the sake of posterity, here are my recaps of the recently completed 2013 Big Thinkers Tournament.
The basic concept of the tournament was as follows. Various philosophers and other thinkers were each associated with a particular team in the NCAA March Madness men’s basketball tournament. The association between team and thinker was based on a secret and extraordinarily complicated algorithm, one that only appears completely arbitrary from the outside. (For example, you’ll notice that Aquinas, the #1 seed in the West division, Is linked to Gonzaga University, for obvious reasons.) Once people had selected their bracket of thinkers, their success in the tournament was based on the success of their corresponding thinkers / teams.
The tournament turned out to be a lot of fun for everyone involved, and I’ve heard rumors that we’ll be doing it again in 2014!