NCAA March Madness! Uniforms Ranked
It’s that time of the year where college hoops comes into sports fans lives like a comet, with a crazy 64 team single elimination tournament to determine the best NCAA div 1 basketball team. Lot’s of drama, upsets, buzzer beaters, brackets busted and all of us trying to talk ourselves into a school we never heard of with players we will never hear from again to be our under dog to route for. It’s honestly one of the best if not the best sporting events of the year. This is my rankings of all the uniforms worn in round one.
Has to be the uni the school wore when they played their game in round one, so sorry if your alternate, home and or away kits are better.
Not just the jersey its self but the whole package i.e shorts.
This is obviously a matter of ones taste and in a lot of case first impressions so don’t take this too seriously.
The four play in teams that lost do not qualify.
So without further ado, enjoy……
I Don’t mind the maroon to be honest with you, just not a big fan of the huge numbers on the back of the jersey and the no names teams bigger than the players bull shit. Give the kids some cred and put their sir names on the back! Also the lettering on the front erks me. I don’t find the silver works with the maroon compared to their traditional white and the book-ending of the big C and E looks off to me. The go faster stripes on the sides do nothing for me either. At least they made it interesting against Tennessee in round one.
I love the colour green and I enjoy saying Vermont Catamounts but the whole time watching them play Florida State (they lost) I couldn’t figure out why I hated their unis. After going through all the tourney’s uniforms in order to determine this silly list I think I figured it out, they just kind of look cheap. Maybe it’s just the shade of green itself or the yellow trim or the over all look is just boring but it looked like they were playing in high school jerseys.
62. New Mexico State
I hated the lettering on this number! Not a big fan of teams putting their nickname on the front - Bolts on the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey sweater is probably the worst offender, however Aggies is not so great either. Its just too big, bold and ugly for my taste, just kind of a clustered mess on the front. This ranking is in no way factored by me being very sour about the Aggies not coming through on my upset pick fucking up my bracket.
Red with white trim on the collar and white lettering, simple, basic and definitely not ugly. Just very meh and to be honest with you their was a Bradley in my life when I was a kid and he was kind of a dick. The Braves of Peoria Illinois gave perennial contenders Michigan State all they could handle in the first half, making Tom Izzo act like a complete lunatic (sadly predictable) on the sides but ended up being thumped in the second half.
More or less Colgate’s uni but with better lettering on the Montana logo and with less annoying numbers - I don’t remember if they have their names on the back of their jerseys. Simple and dull like the spacious planes of Montana itself. I honestly have no idea, I’m sure it’s a lovely place to visit and or live. Montana was thumped by a much better Michigan on the opening day…..
59. Georgia State
Duke colours and a similar look with less prestige and pedigree. Of course Duke doesn’t own the blue and white look, in fact it was a common theme in watching these games. The look on Georgia State in their Under Armour gear was quite frankly clean and decent, I think I put them low because they played against a fabulous red and grey uniform clad Houston. I’m sure the booster club for the Panthers won’t be too upset with such a low ranking from a site that nobody visits though.
The Bruins have a lot going against them in my books. They let me down in my bracket - to be fair I picked them based on one comment in a podcast I listened to before making my picks and the fact that Belmont cigarettes were my jam when I was a filthy smoker but I digress. Maryland (in a glorious jersey) finally didn’t blow it after over a decade of lackluster tourney showings……Oh yeah the Belmont gear is whatever: dark blue, a bit of red and white, the lettering on Belmont on the front was really nice to be fair.
57. Old Dominion
Blue with a bit of grey trim and I think that’s a crown above the ODU? I honestly think it should be lower as these unis are very meh, but I enjoy saying Old Dominion. It’s one of the fun things about March Madness; hearing names of schools you never heard of with funny nicknames, interesting mascots and seeing players you will never see again have the chance to have a moment under the big lights. I saw zero seconds of Old Dominion but the name gives me a smile when the name shows up on my bracket when the madness starts.
56. ND State
That’s the North Dakota Bison’s, not sure if yellow has something to do with the State or some school tradition but that was a lot of yellow with very little green to break it up. It was nice to see a different colour pallet to take in with the endless sea of blue and red but the Bison’s away kits (might of been alternate) was kind of an eye sore. Their home white numbers are much better but rules are rules.
55. Fairleigh Dickinson
The FDU Knights! I never heard of them before but with a quick google I found out that the school is located in Hackensack New Jersey and they play in the Northeast Conference. They were wearing a dark blue get up with dark red and white stripes down the side and a a dark red FDU stitched on the front that was too small for my liking. Nothing offensive but with a name like the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights of Hackensack New Jersey (fun to say) I would expect something a bit different/better than their average jerseys.
54. Saint Marys
Another blue red combo blah. The little red stripe on the shorts is okay, the small letters spelling out Saint Marry’s across the chest suck but its better than their jersey that said Greks across it (their nickname) those legit suck just like the monicker Grek’s. They had a beautiful white jersey last year and maybe still this season (no time to fact check) with the letter size that was just right.
53. Seton Hall
White with blue, gorgeous cursive writing, if only they wore those, but they had the blue with white cursive writing. For whatever reason I just find their home uniforms slightly cleaner and better looking, but don’t get it twisted 53 and on I am a fan of the jerseys and its not a huge margin between the Pirates of Newark New Jersey and number 38 on the list - that’s where the list heats up!
The Gales of south east New York (New Rochelle) wearing a nice maroon and gold number with a decent logo with what I think is a Celtic cross in the O on Iona. I don’t love the semi thick yellow shoulder boarder trim. I remember hearing the name of Iona but don’t have any memories of them - I looked up former and current NBA players from Iona and it’s a who’s that small list. However the sixteen seed almost pulled off a UMBC against the Tar Heels, playing hard and up by five at the half but Goliath ultimately beat David smashing the Gales in the second half.
51. St Louis
Billikens? What the heck is a billiken? Well according to my research (two minutes on wikipedia) a Billiken is a doll created by art teacher Florence Pretz. The doll is said to give the owner good luck and even better luck if you give it to someone. The fever dream marketing doll looks like a albino monkey bear cross over and is also the mascot of the University of the University of St. Louis - Pretz taught art in Missouri and there might be some tie in with the Jesuit religion but I didn’t delve too deep. That’s the kind of nonsense I enjoy from mid major schools in the tourney! Oh and the uniform, a decent black with a bit of blue…..
It was tight butt hole time for Virginia, with the ghosts of last year becoming the unfortunate first number one to lose to a sixteen. Could the runnin’ bulldogs do it to cavaliers this year? No they could not. They did play a solid first half up by six at the half in the usual boring fundamental type game Virginia plays. On to the uniforms, Gardner-Webb came to the dance in a basic black outfit with red and white trim. The red and white collar look was quite nice though and kind of reminded me of soccer kits like France that rock the awesome polo collar look, yes I know Gardner-Webb were not actually rocking jerseys with collars popped, but red with a bit of white blending into the collar gave off that look and I appreciated that little attention to detail and design. Gardner - Webb just looks cluttered on the front and its too many letters side by side, needed to have it curve maybe?
49. Ole Miss
The Manning Klan minus Payton, occasionally being top ten ranked in NCAA Football and a hilarious predictable scandal to said football program, these are the things that come to mind when I think of Ole Miss basketball, which is nothing really. Now on to the point of this list the uniform and the rebels put on a nice show with a dark blue with red trim and a fantastic big white Ol Miss in white cursive on the front, not too shabby. They do lose points for the thick white stripe that runs down the side however as I feel it would of been a better look without it.
With an impressive run last year and a solid season this year, the oldest team in the tournament let down a lot of people who watch ten minutes of college hoops all season and get upset when their bracket goes all wrong two hours into tip off on day one, with their early exit this go around. Wearing a better than decent white jersey with a thick blue stripe across the shoulders and around the top of the shorts. Again not a fan of “Pack” written on the front, and I much prefer their aqua blue “Nevada” on the front look (might of been last season). Apperantly they have a bunch of uni’s (might of been last year) like they are Maryland or Oregon, weird must have some decent booster money or connections with Adidas.
Ah yes the Ivy League inclusion, not as fun as when Princeton is in it and we can all make the sports dad joke of “do you think they will run the Princeton offense” but Yale had a solid team this year. If only Miye Oni (their best player) hadn’t gone cold against LSU, they could of pulled off an upset in a rather chalky and somewhat boring first two days of the tourney. Being from a lower middle class family in Southern Ontario Canada I don’t know much about Yale other than it’s Ivy League, expensive, elite and C. Montgomery Burns Graduated class of 1914. What I do know is they have a decent, safe looking blue and white get up - enjoyed the white collar trim. I wouldn’t expect anything less or more from a distinguished classy school like Yale.
46. Virginia Tech
If only they were in their away jerseys! Gorgeous Chicago maroon and burnt orange but alas these are the parameters I set. Had they been in their iconic colours they would of been quite high on the list. The white with a streak of that lovely shade of maroon down the side and orange letters is decent. If I was not so bummed out by them not wearing their away look or even their third jersey (although its a lot of orange) the Hokies would be probably placed ten spots higher, but whats done is done. They are about to go up against Duke in a sweet 16 bout……best of luck.
How could they be placed this low? Is what I said when looking at the teams scribbled down with rankings on my note pad - a little glimpse into my process, your welcome. Than I looked at my notes and it read: classic jersey, fuck outta here with the stripe on the shorts! I was right, I should never doubt myself I really don’t enjoy that little red and blue stripe at the bottom of the shorts or the little KU etched on them. Their white jersey is not as good as their classic blue ones either. The little Jay Hawk belt buckle design was a nice touch though on the shorts.
Pretty much what annoyed me about Kansas’s uniforms the Badgers did the same, it’s the shorts! These ones are slightly less annoying with a double red stripe on the side with their red W, but it keeps going wrapping around the front and I do not like it one bit. The jersey itself is fine and somewhat boring just like the way they play basketball. Had they not of been obliterated by Oregon in the first round they might of had a chance for my elite 8 mascot showdown, but they never could get things going in round one. I truly adore Wisconsin’s Bucky the badger, what’s not to like it’s a badger mean mugging with a candy cane old timey sweater on.
The team a lot of people talk themselves into making waves this time of the year ultimately to be disappointed, also Nick Lashay from 98 degrees is a graduate and is always around in the crowd. The white get up is nice though (not as good as the black) and although I find Cincinnati’s logo on the front of the jersey a tad small, I do love the little bear claw above the second c. I found its too much white and there is not a lot to break up things, yes less is often more but just a little less less and these uni’s would be better than just good, if that makes any sense.
Black and yellow, what a combo of colours! Not a Pittsburgh Penguins, Pirates, or Steelers fan in the least bit but I do fully approve of their black and yellow colour scheme and love that they are all united as one city with those colours. Iowa looked good on that court and I did enjoy the citron arrows on the shorts but they went a bit far with the baby citron arrows on the upper side of the tops, just one addition too much - like when you have a great character created in WWE 2K but you keep tweaking and adding until you lose the masterpiece you once had. Slightly tarnished but not ruined, Iowa put on a good show this year in the Uni department and on the court “upsetting” Cincinnati in round one and losing to Tennessee in overtime in round two.
White on White for the loggo with yellow and black trim and black numbers with a bit of yellow trim, pretty pretty good if I must say. Far from a stand out but very clean, simple and solid all around look. Fun fact I looked up what VCU stands for (Virginia Commonwealth University) and I remembered that I did the exact same thing last year and will in all likelihood do the same next year if they are invited back to the dance. The Rams matched up against UCF in round one and had to face the 7’6 Tacko Fall, March’s “it” guy this year, in a losing effort
40. Texas Tech
Much Better job implementing a little design with the red stripes on the white shorts with the double T on them. Yes the lettering on the chest is a bit small and I would of went for Texas above the players number and Tech bellow it but all and all a decent inoffensive, straight laced uniform. The Red Raiders punched their ticket to the sweet sixteen and I hope they lose to the Wolverines so I can keep my final four intact, depending on the other games of course. *late for my deadline my final four is ruined!
39. Utah State
What is an Aggie? I have no idea but I do know that Utah State does a much much much better job than New Mexico State did in putting their nickname on the front of their jersey. The font is perfect and the bold blue stripe on the sides is just right. Yes I know I said I normally don’t like the nickname instead of the city or school front and center of the gear but this is one of the exceptions to the rule. Is the uniform a bit Johnny Unitas? Yeah it is but that’s fitting for a school from the state of Utah, as opposed to the Utah Jazz who should of changed the team name after the team left New Orleans for the Mormon desert.
Everything I ever need to know about the state of Oklahoma I learned from Jim Ross, pro wrestling play by play commentator extraordinaire, which is to say very little. I remember tuning into them a bit last year to see Tre Young jack up a ton of ridiculous shots as he was their entire offense, it was not a great game plan but was good fun. The Sooners had on their away crimson and cream jerseys and they are better than decent. Not a huge fan of all that crimson and for whatever reason I am obsessed with the little detail on uniforms; trim, lines, boarders, stripes etc. So I know I am knit picking when I say the double stripe of cream down the side that crosses one another at the bottom erked me a bit and that’s what kept Oklahoma out of the top 20, I would of preferred a single line or none at all.
37. Mississippi State
Up there as far as template goes for placing your schools name on the chest. A fantastic Mississippi above the State, with the former sandwiched between horizontal lines and the latter placed inside a fancy banner. The white backdrop with the maroon is simple but tasteful and they might be unfairly ranked because they got destroyed in the outfit department by Liberty and also lost to them on the court. Had they gone up against a inferior uni counterpart maybe they would of stuck out more, but I am not changing my rankings on the fly here, sorry not sorry Bulldog’s.
36. Florida State
The State of Florida might be contender for best uniforms across all sports pro and collegiate. You have the Miami Hurricanes, Miami Dolphins, Marlins, Gators, Panthers, even the Jags have improved their look (the Tampa Bay Lightning and Bucks can fuck off though) and the Seminoles are no exception. That dark red with gold really complements each other and they have laid off on too much gold which is a good thing. They were however wearing their white kits and its most certainly less superior to their black ones. I do like the rigid red and gold down the side and I am a fan of the Florida on the top of the players number and state bellow it, instead of the FSU lettering or even worse Seminoles across the front look. Good showing out, you really made Vermont look low rent in your round one match up.
Blue, Orange and white it just works! Whether it’s the Knicks, Mets or the Syracuse Orange, it is almost always a sports colour pallet I can get behind. The Virginia Cavaliers may be boring fundamental basketball that has me turning the channel sometimes but it’s not because of what they are wearing. Their home look in white is not as good as their away but it’s not too far off. I like the double blue strip down the side of the shorts, I’m not sold on the emblem at the hip, I do think the orange stripe at the bottom of the shorts is a nice touch too. I don’t hate but could do without the orange shoulder pad boarder but it’s not awful. A fundamentally sound look Virginia, just like your hoops game.
The terriers! if this list was best logo as opposed to best uni’s they would be top 10 for sure! I love terriers and a mean looking one that’s still cute, sign me up! Adorned in their white jerseys with black and a bit of gold, Wofford look good, there are no crazy stripes or designs, or cool different letters just a clean cut look that won’t turn any heads but also doesn’t make you look away in disgust. It’s a uni you can bring home to meet the parents after you have been dating for a while and not have to worry about what they might think. FYI they did (and may still do) have a mostly gold set up that was a gaudy eye sore, glad they showed up to ball in these ones.
Last years champs and former school of Kyle Lowery - sorry had to plug my Raptors. A down turn in talent this year (they will be back) after they got demolished by Purdue in the second round. I honestly thought when I started this list that Nova would be top 15, I have always enjoyed their look and it’s usually a good sign when a organization doesn’t stray away from their look ever. I love that they are called the Wildcats it’s so collegiate sports it warms my heart and I have always admired their style of play throughout the Jay Wright tenure. Home or away the look is really good. The light blue on dark blue on the players number has always been a nice touch,the wild cat on the shorts as well as the trim around the shoulders in the very same colour scheme - it’s all good stuff. It’s not the strongest of the perennial tournaments heavy hitters and maybe some of the new kids on the block just caught my eye more, no reason to dwell on this though, sorry Wildcats I think I did you a slight disservice on this list.
I do love the fact that the Louisville Cardinals rock the cardinal red. In their round one match up it was the ghosts of the Pitino era scandal Cardinals vs the Minnesota Golden Gophers coached by Rick Pitinos son Rick Jr, and Jr got a measure of revenge (I guess)beating his dads former team in round one. Never mind all that TNT made for t.v drama, lets get to what Louisville was wearing! A classy white and the already mentioned cardinal red look. Nothing that would rock the boat but the look has a bit of flair to it; some lined squared patterns on one of the short legs for some reason, a thick black boarder of black at the top of the shorts that’s nice and Louisville is written with a bit of attitude with emphasis on the points of the letters and the numbers. It was a solid opening game to the tournament with plenty of Bill Murray sightings because his son Luke is assistant coach for Louisville. Story line drama, good sports unis and Bill Murray, not a bad way to kick off the 2019 national championship tournament.
Not to get all personal with you readers, but my parents divorced when I was very young and my last and fleeting memory of them being together is a trip to Buffalo, so I kind of hate Buffalo. I can watch "wide right” the Bills go on to lose four straight Superbowls all day, sorry not sorry Buffalo you ruined my parents marriage! In all seriousness though the Buffalo Bulls wore a better than average white and blue uni. I really appreciated the lettering on Buffalo and the double blue stripe down the side broke things up quite well. Yes I know Buffalo the city did not break up my parents, lets just keep moving on shall we……
30. Kansas State
Was delighted to see the Wildcats because I always find they incorporate their school colour of purple in their jerseys quite well. I don’t love that they go by K-State instead of placing Kansas State or even Wildcats on the front of the jersey. K-State sounds like a motor oil or a convince store but other than that they have a great look. They had on their white home uni’s with a purple streak across the shoulders and not one but two of their fantastic minimilist wildcat logos on the front of the shorts.
The Huskies look reminds me of the Colorado Rockies look and that’s not a bad thing. Purple and black go great together, like the Purple Rain movie poster; a dark ally and front and center your eyes are drawn to Princes glorious purple jump suit. The Washington men’s basketball teams uniforms are obviously not as entertaining or life altering as Princes movie/soundtrack masterpiece but it’s a very good effort put forward in a world full of red and white or blue and white. Not sold on the upside down v purple on black stripes at the side of the shorts if I am being picky.
28. UC Irvine
Huge round of applause for the Anteaters first ever Div 1 tournament win ever! Anteaters is almost on par with UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs as far as school sports names go too. On top of that they came to the dance dressed to impress even though it’s only their second time ever being there - dress the part and fake it till you make it people! The theme of a thick stripe across the shoulders this year continues and I am a fan of the dark blue and California gold colour scheme, Cal Berkley colours if you will. On my half ass research I saw that on one of their jerseys it has Anteaters stitched on the front instead of UC Irvine, that would of been one of my few exceptions to the rule of school/city over moniker/nickname and might of catapulted them into the top 10 had they worn that when they upset Kansas State in round one.
27. Ohio State
Did my bias for Club Trillion former Ohio State walk on Mark Titus cloud my judgment, in short yeah probably. I will say there is nothing wrong with they Ohio States red away uniforms. I appreciate the grey with white lines running down the side of the uni and splitting off at the bottom to encase their famous O logo. The shade of red they use is better than most in this field of competitors; it stands out but its not too bright. On further thinking I do think that maybe they are placed five spots too high but I really want to get this article out before sweet sixteen tip offs (I didn’t) and there is no turning back now.
A for effort B- on execution is what I would describe these as. You can never go wrong with black and gold and I appreciate the UCF adorned on the chest not going horizontal as is tradition but instead sloping downward. The only problem it’s only three letters and they are a bit small. Still the mostly black look with a bit of gold really looks sharp. It was great seeing Tacko Fall on the opening tip off so laissez-faire as everyone watching knew he was gonna win that battle. UCF played in the game of the tournament so far against Duke in round two coming up short in a heart breaker.
25. Arizona State
Apparently Arizona State is a Party school, I have no idea if that’s true but judging by their yellow and red uni’s I would say they came to party. Lots of yellow (might be California gold) and a bit of maroon, it’s a fun and fitting look for the Sun Devils. It gave me a much needed burst of colour watching them lose handedly to Buffalo from my cold thawing out Canadian home. The Maroon trim around the collar and arm holes (is that what you call it?) works. So does the little streak of maroon dashed across the shorts to break things up. The only downfall to this look? Well it’s a bit sensory over load almost too bright but that is slightly unfair considering I complained so much about the blandness of a bunch of these teams looks.
Oregon alum and Nike co-founder Phil Knight really enjoys signing over checks to his beloved school. He also loves throwing everything at the wall when it comes to their sports teams uniform designs. Some are great and original some are a sight for sore eyes and look like a Gatorade sponsored cycling team outfit. The ones the Ducks were showcased in against Wisonson during round one? Well somewhere in the middle; almost lime green with highlighter yellow. Not a patch on the beautiful white with green wings on the shorts that they wore in round two. I have to base the round one look on my rankings though and although not ugly they are not pretty either. I do like the “Fighting” above the players number and “Ducks” bellow the number on the front of the jersey, even though it’s fucking stupid. I would never be caught dead wearing one of these jerseys but its a kin to the Tommy Wasseau “master piece” The Room so bad it’s actually good.
Marquette has a rich time honored tradition of pushing the envelope when it comes to uniform designs, many of them are great and original. These are somewhat original and good but not great. My first impression when seeing them was “oh wow Marquette is placed under the players number, huh don’t see that too often”. Not sure how I feel about that, it is centered nicely though. The extra wide grey running down the side of both top and shorts is not bad either. I enjoyed the originality and simplicity of the look, just kinda wished for the crazy yellow and blue checkered boarders look I guess.
22. Iowa State
I know I have been picky with the stripes, designs, trims and boarders of many of these uniforms, but when I saw the Iowa State Cyclones bust out the strips of red lines that give off a cyclone look down the side I smiled from ear to ear. That’s the attention to detail that I love! It’s not tacky at all either nor does it take away from the over all look, it just adds to it, bravo to whoever deigned this one. My only complaint is the Cyclones on the chest is in yellow with red boarder and the numbers are in red with yellow boarder, make them both the same and maybe change it to Iowa State instead of Cyclones and you just cracked my top ten.
Down a shot whenever someone in the booth makes a reference to a Purdue player being a engineer major. The Boilermakers (great name) are the perennial fringe contender that always bow out a bit too early, but they always come correct in the looks department. Opening round they had their white jersey with black and gold trim. I found their shoulder stripe in black (again with this look ugh) a bit meh but what put them in the lower 20’s was their awesome Purdue letter block on the front; black with gold trim curving at the bottom with the R and the D larger than the rest of the letters. It’s perfect! Like a majestic eagle swooping down to catch it’s prey. Yes I am aware that a boilermaker is not just a shot and a beer and that the block lettering on the jersey is a kin to the front grill of an old timey train, I like my eagle analogy though.
20. Northern Kentucky
Relative newcomers to NCAA Div 1 hoops (2012-2013) the Norse of Northern Kentucky appeared in just their second March Madness tournament (2017 was their first) in a losing effort to Texas Tech that wasn’t close. I gotta say though I was all in on their black and yellow look. Similar to Iowa’s but without the citron arrows and I am a sucker for schools that get to and utilize the school name and sandwiching the number on the front; Northern above and Kentucky bellow. As for yet another shoulder colour streak, I much prefer the Norse little over the shoulder hint of yellow to the many teams on the list.
19. Abilene Christian
Another Wildcat, get in! Even better they adorn the name on their jersey, much better than the one’s that just had ACU across the chest, take note K-State! That shade of purple though! Not sure if it’s Northwestern purple, electric purple or what - as you can tell I am not great at distinguishing the varying shades of colour, but goodness gracious it looked amazing. Throw in a bit of white stripes and this uni had me at hello. It was the Wildcats of Abilene Texas first go at the big dance and although they got the doors blown off em’ by another Wildcat, they won a piece of my heart with their appearance.
18. Murray State
The Racers rocking the Pacers colours, no Murray State is not located in Indiana but rather Kentucky. Navy and Gold -the yellow kind of gold shade that upon doing research have settled on California gold. I love the Cal gold on the collar, I enjoy the stripe of said gold down the side with a hint of white, just a simple but effective look all around. The Racers (horse racing because of the Kentucky Derby) played entertaining basketball from the little I saw of them this year dismantling Marquete in round one and never getting out of first gear against Florida State in round two. Ja Morant is probably going to be a multiple NBA All Star in the near future and I look forward to seeing him play for years to come.
No Boston College, no Umass, Harvard or Holly Cross this year but don’t worry Mass sports fan’s Northeastern made it. It’s fun to put a few drinks into your system and say Northeastern in a shitty stereotypical Boston accent, give it a go, well too late now they are out of the tournament but maybe next year. Glad to see the Huskies showed up in their one and done game against Kansas in their alternate uniforms. The mainly black with some red and white colour combo made them a shoe in for the top 20, it’s the best look when it’s the Trail blazers, the Bulls and now you can add Colonial Athletic champions Northeastern (I just said it in my terrible Boston accent right now) to that list.
My top four was a lock early on when putting together this list but 16 to 5 was the hardest to figure out. It’s the sweet 16 of the 2019 uni sweepstakes! Nothing but heavyweight hitters left, although it’s under my stupid rule of you can only be judged based on the uni’s that teams wore in round one - It’s like that stupid Emmy award process where they judge shows based on a single episode submitted or something to that effect but I digress. The Tennessee Volunteers played round one against last place (uni rankings) Colgate in their Home white with that oh so beautiful cream orange uniform. Although they narrowly escaped a major upset on the court they wiped the floor with them in the looks department. The solid cream orange stripe down the side with a white T inside the stripe at the bottom of the shorts was an excellent touch. One of the few teams in this field of 64 that I feel their white away jersey might be equal to their home look, so they don’t get effected by my dumb rule.
I love the live by the three die by the three up tempo style of play that Auburn has and they look great doing it. One of the few teams that I feel their white home kits are superior to their blue away ones - a topic that keeps coming up, but often a teams “away” uniform incorporates more of the teams colour pattern so that’s why it’s usually the teams better look. The navy blue letters with burnt orange boarders sitting on a white backdrop is picturesque. The double stripe of orange and blue running down the side is sleek as well. Auburn vs UNC in the sweet 16 might be the game of the tourney (it wasn’t , a blow out victory for the tigers) and will be easy on the eyes for us lovers of sports uniforms.
Could this be the year the not so little anymore west coast basketball program finally wins it all? Well if you have seen by brackets for the past ten years you would know I am no expert on the matter. I can tell you though that they had Gonzaga written across the front of their Jersey in a very nice blue with red trim and not the fucking obscene “Zags” jersey. If your reading this and you know John Stockton ring him up now and tell him how dumb that look is so he can pull some strings and banish that idea forever! It is the law that whenever you bring up Gonzaga basketball you must mention John Stockton, Adam Morrison is not punishable by law but it ‘s encouraged. Gonzaga also has the shoulder stripe look and it’s the best one; with the top of the shorts wrapped around in red, framing a lovely jersey. Also I love the mean looking bulldog logo so I was glad to see it on the shorts.
The team most hurt by my rule of round one uniforms only, Michigan would of been a contender for top three had they not worn their home whites. Still you can’t go wrong with the wolverine’s look. I have fond memories of this schools looks as a kid and although I was too young to appreciate the fab 5 I always loved their football, hockey and basketball attire, plus as a X-men aficionado I was drawn to the Wolverine nickname. Blue and maize trim with no stripes or designs running down the side and that iconic blue emblem on the shorts. A very fresh and clean, no gimmicks needed look. I just need more of that lush maize colour to push it further up my rankings.
Collegiate sports are not nearly as big of deal here in Canada as it is to our neighbors down south so I really don’t have a horse in this race. I will say one of my earliest memories of NCAA football was seeing a random Minnesota game on a Saturday afternoon and being delighted that a team would go by the Golden Gophers, so that always stuck with me. Decked out in their “gold” and maroon uniforms I could easily swapped spots with Arizona State as they are more or less the same look, but Minnesota gets placed higher because a) golden gopher in gold over sun devil and b) childhood memories, the math checks out .
Sometimes the team makes the jersey and not the other way around. Duke has a decent classic look that’s nothing special in my opinion but as much as I hate to admit it they are an iconic team and have never strayed from their look making it iconic in the process. I fucking hate Duke, I hate that they always have some sort of Christian Laettner on the team, I hate the church of Mike Krzyzewski that so many people bow to and they always are good if not great. This year though the power of Zion and Canadian stud RJ Barrett had me tuning in a lot and gasp rooting for their uber athletic feats of greatness. Thankfully they wore the less impressive home white uniforms because the Blue Devils in blue look would have to approaching top five status and I would not feel good about that.
Better than any Houston Rockets uniform post classic red and yellow Hakim era, which is not that difficult but doing it while using the colour grey, now that is impressive! I was of the opinion that grey only worked in sports uniforms in Baseball, well Houston Cougars you just proved me wrong, also not difficult. It’s a grey that’s not shinny but also not dull or at least paired nicely with the red it doesn’t feel dull. Houston on the front of the jersey is just the right size and with no trim around the neck/collar it really lets the red finish line pattern that streaks across the sides stand out. Funny that a two coloured uniform that’s mostly grey stood out to me and was a breath of fresh air.
The Orange from upstate New York can do no wrong as far as uniforms go and I understand that putting them in my top ten is going to make me look like a total hypocrite with them plastering Cuse instead of Syracuse on the chest - seriously though it’s just four extra letters! However they make up for it with a glorious white and orange look and the third best side design (not a real term)in this field of 64. With orange blocks flowing down the side and the best use of space with the players number on the front and yes Cuse above it! For whatever reason the white looked whiter than most out on the court too, like fresh white linen hanging to dry in a beautiful garden, that’s how nice the white looked on my television.
The coach-less LSU Tigers amidst a wire taped recruiting scandal come out looking great (the uniforms not the program) and also came to play earning their way to a shot at the elite eight. LSU have more or less the Laker colours and although I am not a Laker fan you can never hate on their look. Yellow and Mardi Gras purple (fitting) the Tigers look swish in their gear (also fitting because they are sponsored by Nike). Please take note FSU and ODU that’s the scale you use when putting your three letter acronym on your jersey. It will be fun if they win the whole thing (they will not) and break the record for fastest redacted title win ever, fingers crossed.
Of all the teams that rep the orange and blue the Florida Gators do it the best. So happy they wore their away uniform in round one and not their awful third jersey or their okay home whites. The shade of blue is a touch lighter than the classic Knicks blue and although I don’t care for the curvy white stripe down the side that takes away from thick delightful orange line it only loses minor points. This look is an all time classic!
Baylor just missed out on the top five, had they worn their glow stick/ highlighter yellow and green number they would of been dead last for sure, that might be the worst uniform of all time! So it’s a tale of two uniforms, because the one’s they had on against Syracuse in round one were exceptional. Black with the numbers in that glow in the dark yellow with forest green trim - a little bit of outrageous colour is okay, less is more Baylor! The Bears from Wacko Texas are all over the place with their uniforms and in round one we got to see the best of times opposed to their worst of times. That’s right two forced Dickens’ references for no reason in one Baylor uniform ranking write up, your welcome.
The North Carolina Tar heels, never liked the nickname always loved the uniforms. I mean the colour they wear is called Carolina blue how sweet is that, the very colour they wear that represents them is named after them and what a lovely light shade of blue it is! They had on their white home uniforms on with that great argyle print down the side, with North above the numbers and Carolina bellow in that shade of blue named after them. It’s the teams best look and you would get very little push back from me if you argued it deserves to be number one, but I do think their are four better this year……..
When I said Syracuse had the third best “side design” of this field of teams, well Kentucky has the best of all time no matter the field (UNC a close second) with it’s blue and white checkerboard design. A lot of teams do use the blue and white colour patterns because it’s a safe good looking combo but the Wildcats of Kentucky found a way to separate themselves from the pack of blue and white by having that nifty checkerboard design! It works just as well in white home or blue away (they wore their home uni’s in round one) and goes to show with a little tweaking you can turn a played out look into a time honored tradition of looking great on the court.
3. Michigan State
Never happy and almost always angry Tom Izzo and his Spartans came out of the blocks swinging - not in the on court product, they looked shaky on offense for the first half against Bradley. I am of course talking about their uniform. White with that almost British racing green and I might just say this version (the one during round one) was the best version of the Spartans’ uniform ever. That State written in green cursive on the white, the green trim and whatever that yellow patch is, I love it. Full on retro but not tacky or a full on marketing grab, If they continued with this look from here on out I would be fine with it. Also putting State on the jersey instead of Michigan State is way different than Cuse, or Zags , let’s be clear about that. Michigan State can be a bit too wordy to fit it all in and Cuse is just dropping four letters an Zags is a dumb attempt to get a moniker over. State works and I have no beef with it.
First things first this is a silly uniform ranking blog post so I don’t think there is any need to get into the Falwell Jr .Trump supporting nonsense around this school, just judging the teams uniform here and I must say what a uniform. Obviously with a name like Liberty they are going to be sporting red, white and blue, but instead of a Lex Luger 1994 I love America pandering Uncle Sam look, the flames pulled off a multi shade of blue blend with red letters and numbers with white trim. I have never heard of this school until weeks leading up to the madness and I was shocked at how great these uniforms looked. They have some deep pockets at their facilities when the collection plate gets passed around, a winner is you Liberty.
Just like Phil Knight with Oregon Kevin Plank, the founder and CEO of Under Armour loves to pump cash into his alma mater the University of Maryland and also tests out too many different looks for the schools sports teams. Well Mr. Plank whoever designed this one struck gold. With the trim around the collar and at the bottom of the shorts being the design of Maryland’s flag and the rest being just white with a bit of red this uniform has the the best of both worlds; simple and clean cut paired with originality, attention to detail and style. My words can’t do this uniform justice and I am sick of writing about uniforms if I am being honest but I knew right away that this was going to be number one.
Hope you enjoyed the list tune in soon for my elite 8 Mascot showdown!