Top 25 College Basketball Uniforms Ever
25. Loyola Marymount (Bo Kimble Era)
There are just certain uniforms that epitomize everything we love about college basketball. For some, it’s because of their timelessness. Others simply looked cool based on the stars and teams who wore them. Here are our picks for the Top 25 College Basketball Uniforms Ever.
LMU’s current colors are crimson and navy blue, but back when Paul Westhead and his troops were running “The System” to high-scoring perfection, it was more of a crimson and grayish, robin’s egg blue. A quirky combination? Most definitely. But when it’s associated with perhaps the most beloved Cinderella ever, it just worked.
— eBay Tweet History (@ebaytwhistory) November 20, 2014
24. Texas (T.J. Ford Era)
As UT experienced a hoops renaissance in the early 2000s, stars like PG T.J. Ford made the burnt orange represent the same headiness, toughness and “Texas-ness” that it had represented when worn by the much more ballyhooed football team. Moreover, it was hard not to like the giant Longhorns logos on the sides of the shorts or the belt buckle-like block “T” on the waist.
23. Indiana State (Larry Bird Era)
Was it somewhat cheesy for the state of Indiana silhouette to form the first “I” in “Indiana” on their Larry Bird Era jerseys? Yes. But then again, there’s always been something quaintly cheesy about basketball in Indiana. The predominantly baby blue color of the whole ensemble just seals the deal.
Indiana State needs to wear the Larry Bird throwbacks. pic.twitter.com/1AUddHGfWH
— Aaron Hill (@delicioushill) January 18, 2014
22. Michigan State (Magic Johnson Era)
Whenever Michigan State wears throwbacks from the Magic Johnson era with a script “State” across the chest, it makes us misty-eyed with nostalgia. Among the litany of different uniforms that MSU has tried over the past several decades, the script ones remain far and away the best.
21. St. John’s (Chris Mullin Era)
The high point of St. John’s basketball - both in terms of on-court results and style - came in the 1980s, when Chris Mullin starred in a deep-red jersey with “St. John’s” spelled out in old-school font.
El gran Chris Mullin en St. John’s pic.twitter.com/uVbueZIx4M
— Javi Cheda (@JaviOnAir) October 30, 2013
20. Kansas State (Current)
Once a study in overkill complete with renderings of cat-scratches and “shoulder pads,” the Wildcats went minimalist with their uniforms starting in the late 2000s. Gone were the aforementioned, superfluous garnishes in favor of clean uniforms that came in black, purple, gray and white. Most important: Going with a simple yet declarative “K-State” across the jersey. The purple jerseys are the best, by far.
— Eddie Grier III (@EG3_KSU13) January 10, 2015
19. Oklahoma State (Doug Gottlieb Era)
Like MSU, the Pokes’ uniforms just seem that much more legit when it’s a script “Cowboys” splashed across the chest rather than in a squarer font. The pattern on the bottom and sides of the shorts was very late 1990s-early 2000s in its boldness, but the black and orange color scheme - always a solid one - made it work.
18. Duke (Grant Hill Era)
Say what you will about the sport’s most polarizing program, the Blue Devils’ look has always been sharp. It’s changed slightly over the years (i.e. the stripe down the side, lining, material and backs) and call us a sucker for the ‘90s, but we love the old mesh look that was so clean and made the “D” logo on the shorts really pop.
17. Arizona (Andre Iguodala Era)
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Arizona had one of the more popular sets of shorts on the consumer market. What sports nut didn’t love wearing something with “Cats” splashed in red down the sides and the awesome lining at the bottom?
16. Wake Forest (Tim Duncan Era)
Everything was better about Wake Forest basketball during the Tim Duncan Era, including the uniforms.The shorts especially, with the interlocking “WF” on the sides and black and gold on the bottom, really worked.
15. Connecticut (Current)
We decry a lot of modern-day changes to uniforms, yet what the Huskies did with the names on their jerseys has worked for us. Rather than continuing to jam “Connecticut” across the chest of the jerseys, they’ve mercifully shortened it to “UConn,” complete with a cool red outline of the “U.”
14. Utah (Keith Van Horn Era)
The Utes (named after the Ute tribe) have started downplaying the Native American imagery as the NCAA has cracked down on politically incorrect nicknames and mascots. We understand, but still miss the Utah uniforms of the late 1990s. Having the drum-and-feather logo form the “U” was always really cool, as was the fact that “Utah” was placed above a rendering of snow-covered mountains.
13. Indiana (Current)
You’re seemingly transported back in time whenever you watch an Indiana game and those crimson uniforms. Compare the current unis to, say, those worn by the Hoosiers when Isiah Thomas was starring for them in the early 1980s. Apart from the interlocking “IU” missing from the shorts on the current rendition, you’ll have a hard time spotting any differences.
12. Missouri (Anthony Peeler Era)
For a program without a Final Four berth to its name, Mizzou sure made it easy to recognize the Tigers whenever they were playing on TV - particularly in their yellow road road threads, with a white “M” setting the stage for a black “issouri.”
11. UNLV (Larry Johnson Era)
The Runnin’ Rebels from the late 1980s and early 1990s were a take-no-prisoners kind of team. UNLV wasn’t messing around with their uniforms either: A predominantly red ensemble with the school’s initials splashed across the front of the jersey and white stripes with black trim lining the sides and the bottom of the shorts. The Rebels’ uniforms didn’t need to be flashy; they let their play do the talking.
10. UMass (Marcus Camby Era)
How could you not want to buy in to a “Refuse to Lose” mentality when you looked as good as the 1990s Minutemen? Marcus Camby and company had some of the more unique jerseys around, with a huge cursive “U” connected to “Mass.” It was uniquely UMass, and uniquely cool.
9. Arkansas (Corliss Williamson Era)
There are times when piping on the shorts and jerseys feels superfluous, yet that wasn’t the case for the Razorbacks when they were unleashing Nolan Richardson’s “40 Minutes of Hell” on hapless opponents. The excessively baggy shorts most associated with guard Scotty Thurman just made the look more legendary.
8. Syracuse (John Wallace Era)
Nowadays, Syracuse players look like they’re wearing oversized t-shirts with far too much gray on them to be called the “Orange.” The ‘Cuse’s uniforms were never better than the 1990s threads that had a creamsicle quality to them, a great font and excellent shorts featuring an awesome logo on the side.
7. Long Beach State (Current)
Rather than shy away from LBSU’s unofficial and surfer dude-sounding nickname of “The Beach,” 49ers athletics as a whole has embraced it. None more so than the basketball team, which has splashed the nickname in a tiki-like font across the jerseys.
6. Kansas (Paul Pierce Era)
Kansas is a place where tradition is sacred. One such tradition that sadly went by the wayside: The circus font on the Jayhawks’ uniforms. Alas, the KU administration switched to a Trajan font during the summer of 2007, much to the chagrin of many in the KU community.
5. Cincinnati (Jordan Brand Era)
A Bearcats team infamous for its rough play and toughness under Bob Huggins even looked the part in its sleek, Jordan Brand uniforms in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The white stripes pattern on the sides of the jerseys and the shorts were a nice modern-day touch without being over the top.
4. Georgetown (Allen Iverson Era)
As far as the Hoyas players were concerned, the addition of a kente cloth pattern to the sides of their jerseys and shorts in the mid-1990s was a swag thing. The West African design was totally unique to college hoops and sealed Georgetown’s place as black America’s favorite college basketball team.
3. Michigan (Fab Five Era)
What made the Wolverines’ uniforms from the early 1990s iconic was not just the threads but how the Fab Five wore them: Baggy and with black socks, black shoes, shaved heads and tons of cockiness. UM’s beautiful bright yellow unis and the massive block “M” on the sides of the shorts have only grown more beautiful with time.
2. UCLA (Current)
Perhaps as a nod to the great John Wooden and the hoops behemoth he built in Westwood, the Bruins’ uniforms have barely changed since he stopped coaching. The predominantly “true blue” threads with gold trim and gold lettering remain almost exactly the same and are timeless beauties.
1. North Carolina (Jerry Stackhouse Era)
Where to start with a uniform that’s almost universally regarded as college basketball’s best? Perhaps with the color scheme of “Carolina blue” (you know a school’s uniform is good when one of its colors is named after the school) and white. It’s simple yet completely unique to the Tar Heels. Then there’s the addition of an argyle pattern on the sides of the jerseys and shorts prior to the 1991-1992 season, which only made the perfect college basketball uniform that much more iconic before it’s sadly been tweaked over the years.