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.
12. Missouri (Anthony Peeler Era)
It's not just at Michigan where they have love for a block "M." For a program without a Final Four berth to its name, Mizzou sure made it easy to recognize them whenever they were playing on TV -- particularly in their yellow road road threads, with a white "M" setting the stage for a black "issouri." NCAA Tourney One-Hit Wonders: Where Are They Now?
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 its 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 didn't need their uniforms to be flashy; they let their play do the talking. College Basketball's Top 25 Names Ever featuring God Shammgod
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 a "Mass" whose font looked like something on a 1970s or 1980s movie poster. It was uniquely UMass, and uniquely cool. College Basketball's Top 25 Dunks Ever featuring Jerome Lane
9. Arkansas (Corliss Williamson Era)
There are times when piping on 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. If anything, it made Arkansas look even faster than it actually was, a la streamers whipping in the wind. The excessively baggy shorts most associated with guard Scotty Thurman just made the look more legendary. College Basketball's 20 Craziest Court Designs
8. Syracuse (John Wallace Era)
Nowadays, Orange players look like they’re wearing oversized t-shirts with far too much gray on them to be called the “Orange.” It’s a shame because Syracuse used to have great unis. We loved the script look of the 1980s but the 'Cuse really topped itself with the threads they donned in the 1990s -- most prominently featured on the 1996 Final Four team led by John Wallace -- that had a creamsicle quality to them, a great font and excellent shorts featuring an awesome logo on the side. College basketball's 10 Ugliest Uniforms Ever
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 splashed the nickname in a tiki-like font across the jerseys and even designed their home floor at Walter Pyramid to resemble the beach, complete with palm trees. That bold shade of yellow is a beauty.
6. Kansas (Kirk Heinrich 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, which harkened back to the days of Phog Allen. Alas, the KU administration switched to a Trajan font during the summer of 2007, much to the chagrin of many in the KU community. The current Jayhawks’ uniforms look like something fit for the WNBA.
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. Unlike, say, the cat scratch designs on the current incarnation of the Bearcats' ensemble.
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. Just as cool: The program’s recent decision to bring the iconic design back after it had been absent for more than 15 years.
3. Michigan (Fab Five Era)
What made the Wolverines' uniforms from the early 1990s iconic was not just the uniforms themselves as much as how the Fab Five wore them: With baggy shorts, black socks, black shoes and tons of cockiness. Over time, UM’s beautiful bright yellow threads and the massive block "M" on the sides of the shorts became associated with this hip hop-inspired change to the style of basketball.
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. Given its association with unprecedented college basketball excellence and timeless fashion, why bother ever changing it?
1. North Carolina (Jerry Stackhouse Era)
You know a school's uniform is good when one of its colors -- Carolina Blue -- is named after the school. Simple yet completely unique to the Tar Heels. Addition of an argyle pattern on the sides of the jerseys and shorts (1991-92) only made it that much more iconic. There are subtle but notable differences between UNC's current uniforms and those in the 90s: Material, font, short lining, jersey trim and backs. The 90s unis are better in each category.
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