It doesn’t matter if you’re from a little-known school or you suit up for a big-time program, making the NCAA tournament is a major accomplishment. During March Madness, college basketball gets turned upside down. Unfortunately, not all teams take full advantage of this opportunity. Thanks to terrible uniforms choices, some clubs simply don’t look the part. Luckily for us, however, that’s not always the case.
We think it’s always important to put your best foot forward. So if you’re fortunate enough to make it to the big dance, it’s vital that you look like you belong. Here’s a look at five teams that — stylistically speaking — made the most of this golden opportunity.
In 2003, the Syracuse Orange were a prime example of a team that didn’t just play well, they looked great doing it, too. With freshman stud Carmelo Anthony having a tournament for the ages, Syracuse, dressed in these sweet orange uniforms with the perfect blue trim, navigated the madness and earned itself a national championship. Now that’s how you dress for success.
2. North Carolina
Considering the iconic nature of Carolina blue, we could’ve selected any number of North Carolina Tar Heels uniforms. Yet, there’s something effortlessly chic about these duds worn by the 1996-97 squad. For us, everything from the way the outlined letters wrap around the numbers and the beautiful use of multiple blue tones to the waistband with the “heel” totally works. Plus, try and tell us that you don’t love the powder blue argyle pattern that runs down the side of the jersey. Silence? That’s what we thought.
3. Long Beach State
Long Beach State entered the 2012 NCAA tournament as the No. 12 seed in the West Region. And while the 49ers were unable to get past the New Mexico Lobos in the second round, that didn’t stop them from making a lasting impression. Burnt yellow isn’t usually our thing, however, this group made that tone look GOOD. Also, not many teams could get away with just having “The Beach” written on the chest of the jersey. But as we learned, when it comes to fashion-forward thinking, Long Beach State has an eye for style.
If we had anything negative to say about the uniforms worn by the Georgetown Hoyas during the 1996 tournament, it’s that they were a bit heavy. Other than that, we see no wrong here. The gray on gray is smooth, the bold and deep V-neck is powerful, and the crazy pattern on the side of the uniform just works. Plus, extra points for Allen Iverson. Why? Because we said so.
Are you surprised? If so, you shouldn’t be. Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Chris Webber (L to R), and the rest of Michigan’s Fab Five brought more to college basketball than just a youth movement. These innovators and trendsetters changed the game. Whether the gear was primarily white (see above), maize, or blue, these silky Wolverines uniforms — with the baggy shorts and the big “M” — brought swagger, confidence, and a genuine sense of “cool” to the college basketball arena. Once this look hit the scene, nothing was ever the same. End of story.
Statistics courtesy of SR/College Basketball.