College sports are about pageantry. That’s why fans, alumni and, yes, uniforms are just as big a part of a program as anything else.
In light of Nike’s tour-de-force through college hoops and its unis, we examine the sport’s Top 10 uniforms in their traditional form.
10. Michigan State
Some high-profile programs like Kansas, Syracuse and Georgetown are completely off this list because they botched previously great unis. That allowed Michigan State to land at No. 10. The Spartans seemingly changed their unis every single season but let’s hope these stay for a while. The dark hunter green is a sight to behold and “Spartans” across the chest is a big upgrade from “State.” We’re not sure what an ancient Greek warrior font is supposed to look like, but Nike nailed it with this.
The block letter “M” on the front of the jerseys was more iconic, but we still like the present-day Tigers uniforms that stand out thanks to a brown mustard look that the Tigers pull off. We’re also a fan of the thick black collar and shortened version of the school’s name, “Mizzou,” which is splashed across the chest in capital letters. But come to think of it, the Tigers would look good playing games in their pajamas this season as they are now the second-ranked team in the country.
Here’s the thing about Kentucky basketball: It always seems like a wave of blue has arrived wherever the Wildcats are playing. “Big Blue Nation” is one of the best fanbases in sports. In addition to that loyalty, it’s the swath of UK’s particular shade of the color that engulfs the rest of college basketball. The rest of the uniform is simple – with a white Kentucky on the front. Our one critique? Lose the shorts that have an unexplained patch of white below a “UK” logo. Don’t tell the Wildcats’ passionate fans that the look isn’t perfect.
It’s always unpopular to say good things about Duke. The Blue Devils are like the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys, either you love ‘em or hate ‘em – but mostly they are the target of ridicule. We have nothing bad to say about their sharp, clean uniforms – though we actually prefer the whites since there is no black on them. And the shorts, which combine the two aforementioned colors, with the school’s “D” logo are simply awesome. Maybe the uniforms alone can sell some tickets at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Two words: Old school. When we think of Indiana basketball, it’s hard not to picture coach Bob Knight in his red sweater. But while Knight wasn’t exactly the picture of stoicism on the sideline, the Hoosiers’ dark-red uniforms are some of the classiest in sports. They scream tradition and are memorable alongside the electric Alumni Hall to form an incredible game-day experience. We love the minimalist shorts and throw in IU’s famous striped warm-up pants and you have an unbeatable combination in Bloomington, where they’re as passionate about basketball as anywhere in the country.
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