Top 20 Worst College Basketball Uniforms Ever
20. Notre Dame’s Black Uniforms
College basketball’s history includes some of the most unsightly athletic uniforms you will ever see. Want proof? Feast your eyes on our rankings of the Top 20 Worst College Basketball Uniforms Ever.
Even a school bound by heritage as much as Notre Dame can succumb to the “Black Out” fever that has swept the nation. We’re usually big proponents of this look, but the Irish’s attempt in 2012 left us shrugging our shoulders unimpressed, as the fluorescent blue and green numbers and letters are almost impossible to see.
19. UCF’s Pinstripe Uniforms
Perhaps as a nod to the Orlando Magic, UCF unveiled pinstripe home threads prior to the 2013-2014 season. The effort was there, but the execution was not. Something just seemed very off about the UCF uniforms between the pinstripes, the V-neck collar and the logo in the middle instead of “UCF” horizontally across the front of the jersey.
— UCF Knights (@UCFKnights) October 7, 2013
18. Syracuse’s Two-Toned Throwbacks
The Orange took the floor in a 2014 game in orange jerseys with “Syracuse” spelled out in old-school script across the chest. That was completely ruined by pairing it with dark blue shorts. Perhaps as karmic payback from the fashion gods, ‘Cuse fell to unranked BC that night.
— Chris Creamer (@sportslogosnet) February 20, 2014
17. Notre Dame’s Neon Green Alternates
When the Commander-in-chief pans your new uniforms, you know you’ve done something wrong. In March of 2013, President Barack Obama had Notre Dame losing to Ohio State in the second round of his bracket due in large part to the Fighting Irish’s threads. “That’s one reason why they shouldn’t go any further,” POTUS explained to ESPN’s Andy Katz. “That neon glow thing wasn’t working for me.”
16. Florida A&M’s Shoulder Pad Uniforms
15. Albany’s Two-Sided Shorts
The Great Danes made college hoops fans sit up and take notice - not just because they reached the 2014 Big Dance and won a play-in game against Mount St. Mary’s, but because they did so in some truly hideous threads. Splashing “UAlbany” across the front as opposed to just “Albany” seems strange, but not as bizarre as the awful two-sided shorts.
14. Cincinnati’s Zubaz Uniforms
Among all the critically panned new uniforms that Adidas released for six of its clients prior to the 2013 NCAA Tournament, was Cincy’s 1980s-style “Zubaz” uniforms. “Cincinnati’s uniforms would make them difficult to see among the patrons of Studio 54 in the ’80’s,” ESPN’s Jay Bilas tweeted upon their unveiling. “Tragically, they are easy to see now.”
13. Texas Tech’s Postseason Uniforms
Rather appropriately, the Red Raiders capped off an ugly 2012-2013 season by sporting some similarly unsightly uniforms for the Big 12 tournament. The red and black shoulders set against black and white torso portion of the jersey made the threads resemble a WNBA uniform - or a baby bib. And the logo in the middle was equally hideous.
— Name (@PicSports0) February 25, 2015
12. Northwestern’s By The Players Uniforms
If what Northwestern wore in January of 2014 against Illinois was just a predominantly gray uniform with purple trim, it’d be a decent look. Alas, it’s so much more than that - in a bad way. The left shoulder of the jersey and the entirety of the front of the shorts are covered with random symbols and team mantras. Yuck.
— Julia Wislocka (@JuliaWislocka) January 10, 2014
11. Kentucky's Platinum Uniforms
Surely Kentucky, one of the proudest college basketball programs in the country, could have found a better way to celebrate its centennial in 2002-03 than with this. Nike designed platinum Wildcat uniforms as a sort of “back to the future” look that included a belt around the waist. Thankfully, these unis were only worn once.
— Name (@PicSports0) February 25, 2015
10. Villanova's Graffiti Uniforms
Like other schools on this list, Villanova tried “bold” new ways to modernize their uniforms in the 1990s, only to fall flat on their faces. (Hey, it was the ’90s, right?) It’s a shame that Kerry Kittles had to wear this abomination during the 1994–1995 season that looked like “Villanova” was written in graffiti and shorts that could make you go cross-eyed.
9. Kentucky's Denim Uniforms
Making basketball uniforms out of denim feels like an idea from a “Seinfeld” episode. Providing Kentucky with uniforms made with denim was one of several fashion faux pas that Converse committed in its tenure as the Wildcats’ provider of athletic apparel. From far away, they didn’t look too awful. But up close, it was all too apparent the Wildcats were playing in uniforms made of jeans.
8. Marquette's Bumblebee Uniforms
Then nicknamed the Warriors, Marquette might as well have switched their moniker to Bumblebees prior to the 1969–1970 season. The team’s decision to adopt uniforms that resembled old-fashioned men’s swimsuits was completely intentional. It was the brainchild of Milwaukee-based Medalist Industries and coach Al McGuire; the former sought name recognition, the latter sought something that would get potential recruits buzzing (pun intended).
— MSG (@TheGarden) March 21, 2014
7. UCLA's Short-Sleeves Uniforms
While the postseason uniforms that the Three Stripes came up with for the 2013 postseason are hideous as a whole, UCLA’s are especially a travesty. Between the short sleeves, the Zubaz stripes on the sleeves and shorts and the general appearance of the jersey that looks more fitted for a football field, this look is a disgrace for a program with so much tradition and some of the best and classy uniforms in the country.
6. Northwestern's Night Gown Uniforms
Oh, Northwestern. The only BCS conference team never to make the NCAA tournament has looked bad on the hardwood in multiple ways over the years, as awful basketball has been combined with worse uniforms over the last two decades. Case in point: Northwestern’s night gown uniforms from late 1990s. If you think they look bad in the picture on the left, take a closer look at Evan Eschmeyer sporting them here and here. Yeah, that just happened.
5. Kansas State's Two-Toned Uniforms
The Wildcats’ unique look was first introduced in the 1970s but didn’t receive notice until 1981, during an unlikely run to the Elite Eight. “The immediate instinct is to laugh,” wrote one Washington Post scribe of that Rolando Blackman-led team, “for its uniforms are the sort of two-tone purple nobody beyond a beer league would dare wear in public.” ESPN’s Page 2 went even further, once voting them the ugliest uniforms in all of college sports. For some reason, K-State to decided to wear them again as throwbacks when Denis Clemente was in school.
4. Evansville's Sleeved Uniforms
While sleeved jerseys are becoming a new fad in college hoops and the NBA, Evansville was rocking sleeved unis for decades up until the 2002-03 season. The look was absolutely horrendous, as the Purple Aces’ players looked like they were wearing massively oversized V-neck t-shirts instead of basketball jerseys.
— ShockerNation (@ShockersNation) January 17, 2015
3. Kentucky’s Cat Claw Uniforms
Poor Tony Delk. Not only did he have to wear denim uniforms, he also got stuck in these in the mid-1990s. Note to designers: Any uniform with claw designs on it is a bad idea. These shorts were seemingly stolen from pants worn by hair metal band members.
2. Kansas’ Yellow Uniforms
Most Jayhawks fans remember the 1987–1988 team for “Danny and the Miracles” and their unlikely run to the national title. Unfortunately, KU’s yellow uniform is also part of that historic year. Yes, Kansas wore yellow uniforms. Even more horrifying than the uniforms themselves is that someone saw fit to pay $650 for one of them.
— Name (@PicSports0) February 25, 2015
1. Marquette’s Baby Bib Uniforms
The shining moment for Marquette’s basketball program, the 1977 NCAA title game win over North Carolina, came when Al McGuire’s players were clad in jerseys that - at best - resembled baby bibs. At worst, it looked like maternity wear. They were the brainchild of one of McGuire’s former players, Bo Ellis, who had “Marquette” written across the bottom so the unis could be purposely untucked.
When you combine the baby-blue-and-gold color scheme with the baby-bib look and tiny gold shorts, you have the most hideous and emasculating uniforms in college basketball history.
Marquette’s 1977 Baby Bibs - definitely the ugliest uniforms of all time. pic.twitter.com/Z04fpXrrF7
— SportsHumor (@SprtsHumor) February 26, 2013