20 College Basketball Teams That Could Use a Nike/Under Armour Uniform Makeover

Jim Sullivan@jsully711Featured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2012

20 College Basketball Teams That Could Use a Nike/Under Armour Uniform Makeover

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    College basketball isn't just about who can score the most points anymore. This game has evolved into one that doesn't base itself entirely in skill sets and abilities.

    It's not just about rebounding, three-point shooting or dribbling. It is about fashion.

    A whole new idea that has swept across the sport as the turn of the century took hold. Programs and their teams want to not only play the best, but look the best. Critics might call it feminine and weak, but supporters have taken this emerging trend to the next level.

    The old, boring uniforms of the past have been discarded, only coming out on days when the crowd wants to see a "throwback". Trendy and stylish threads are now commonplace, making their mark nationwide.

    Some programs, however, have moved this idea too far, too fast while others are lagging much too far behind. Things are too out of sync on the court as colors dominate the arena in bizarre ways, clashing in combinations that are just too out there for this time-period.

    We take a look at the top 20 programs in college basketball that have taken things too far in their pursuit of the perfect uniform and need to go back to the drawing board.


    If you look good, you feel good. And if you feel good, you play good. - Deion Sanders


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    The Hoyas gray and deep blue is a nice combination of aesthetically pleasing colors, but their design is bleak and boring. The all gray uniforms may be unique in itself, but it certainly could use a little flash and style.

    Gray is an extremely boring color. For example, when you were a kid sitting in art class assigned with doing some painting project, what's the one thing you always tried when you got bored? Mixing all the colors together, right? Or at least that was my experience. What color does that produce?

    Gray, or at least like a brownish, gray kinda deal. Point is, gray stems from boredom. These uniforms are boring. 


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    The Hoosiers are a classic program with a lot of history. Their jersey designs date back to the Bob Knight era, a time long ago when chair throwing was more or less commonplace.

    Indiana, however, is missing out on the modern age. They have no flash or style in either their home or away uniforms, making this team one boring squad to look at for a whole game. 


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    One of the best teams in the past decade or so, the Huskies know how to win basketball games. However, when the only part of the uniform that stands out is the red outline around the "U", something needs to change.

    Adding more silver or possibly dark blue to their home jerseys alone would go a long way in helping them stand out just a little more.


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    The program that owns the most national titles hasn't changed their uniforms since their last one. The light blue and iridescent gold clash in a interesting way, but UCLA isn't about to change their school's colors.

    Instead, they need to express them more. The gold should come out more in the home uniforms, especially around the light blue lettering.


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    Anything neon is hard to look at for a long period of time. Perhaps the Volunteers think that it may give them a slight edge on the court, but there is a point when they need to start thinking about the fans and their vision

    Orange isn't exactly a very flattering color (will be discussed more later). The black trim on these is fantastic, but the jerseys are so blindingly bright orange that it makes them extremely difficult for me to like.


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    Nike designed multiple new football uniforms for schools around the nation as part of the pro-combat series, and the Cardinal had the luck of being one of these programs. The uniform emphasized their cardinal color, but integrated silver, black and some really sleek designs.

    Stanford's basketball uniform also emphasizes their main cardinal color. That is also all it does. The deep red would have continued to be great for a while if football hadn't ruined the potential of how fantastic I now know Stanford can look, so someone needs to add a little style to these.


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    It hurts my eyes looking at it right now. The Wolverines seemingly ordered a couple thousand highlighters, extracted the ink into a vat, and then dipped all their jerseys into the mixture. It is so blinding.

    For a university that is know as "Big Blue", someone please tell me where they emphasize blue at all. This whole neon yellow is certainly a nice try to be creative, but that color solely comes as a complement to the beautiful dark blue that Michigan usually sports.

South Carolina

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    Under Armour was one of the leaders in the whole uniform industry, breaking Maryland into over 200 new football uniform designs that can each be used once over the next couple of decades. With the Gamecocks basketball jerseys, however, UA falls a little short.

    There is a little bit of a shot at attempting to make these look cool, but the designers just got lazy at some point and blew the whole project off. Furthermore, I hate the numbers separating the "South" and the "Carolina". That just looks tacky. 

Georgia Tech

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    As you may have noticed by now, I have a slight problem with jerseys that bore me and have no style. I also have a dispute with uniforms that are ruining my vision by being so solid and giving me nothing else to look at.

    GT has achieved both of those problems with ease by coming out in these bad boys. They are just solid gold uniforms. Furthermore, the Yellow Jackets need to understand that this gold is extremely dull and makes the whole deal just lose any kind of look they were going for.

    What this needs is a lot more black trim, maybe some white to mix things up, and to move the number so it doesn't separate the "Georgia" and the "Tech". Once again, tacky. 


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    While Tennessee had the pleasure of the more iridescent neon orange, Auburn goes balls the wall putting out these vision-impairing uniforms. I can definitely see how it might give them an on-the-court advantage due to the fact that no one should be able to look at them up close.

    For a university that does so well with their football uniforms by showing off the dark blue and not the orange part of the school colors, the basketball program needs to take a lesson.  

Kansas State

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    Kansas State will most likely forever stand in the shadow of the juggernaut that lies just a few miles from their campus. These solid purple uniforms, no matter how sweet they truly are, will not fix the fact that the Jayhawks own the hardwood.

    It really was a nice attempt though. I am a fan of the "K-State" due to its catchiness and the black trim is really a beautiful touch, but the whole purple uniform is a bit out there for now. The Wildcats' secondary color is silver and just a touch of that here would make this whole uniform awesome. 

Ohio State

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    The Buckeyes love solid colors. Just take a look at almost any of their uniforms. They are either in solid red, solid white or the somewhat new solid gray. They have no desire to mix and match three colors that look superb together?

    What I do like is the lettering/numbering. The "Ohio State" is simple yet elegant while the numbers are bold and really stand out. The white trim on these just isn't enough, however, to make it a great uniform. 


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    I could do slides on Marquette, one for every insane uniform they own. Just take a look at a uniform closet for the Golden Eagles and you will discover so much "style" and "trend" you will literally be blinded.

    Whether it is the neon yellow, the light blue, the dark blue or the white, Marquette knows how to impair vision. The trim is basically every color that the Golden Eagles have laced around their shoulders and necks while the squares of color on the side represent the same idea.

    Most schools are more than satisfied to use just a primary and secondary color in their uniforms. Marquette, however, has to use their primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary and whatever other color might go with those. It is just way too much.

Boise State

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    Another Nike Pro-Combat program, the Broncos need to transfer some of that style to the basketball court. Blue and orange are two colors that complement each other due to their positions on the color wheel, yet BSU somehow found a way to match the right blue with the wrong orange.

    Also, the lettering/numbering just looks strange. The font is out of whack.

Oregon State

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    I've said this once, I'll say it a million times, bright orange is not a flattering color, especially in large quantities. It actually goes quite well as a secondary tint to most other colors, but as a whole, it is really blinding and hard to look at.

    Oregon State really pulls this off nice as they decide to push the orange part of their color scheme rather than the cool black part. The white and black trim on the side of the jerseys is rather neat though, but so much orange should never be tolerated on the hardwood. 


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    The all-red uniforms are actually pretty stylish due to the trim around the edges on all sides, but it's the numbering/lettering that really stands out to me here. The white letters are fine, but instead of just a solid black outline, the university went with a yellow and a red trim to the numbers which really kills the entire look.

    Furthermore, what is with the strange black and yellow stripe down the side of the jerseys? Is that supposed to be there?


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    I don't want to sound like a Kobe hater right now, but the Lakers aren't exactly the kings of fashion. Purple and gold are two colors that do not belong together on a uniform and, although the Tigers really tone this down on the gridiron, it is extremely blatant on the court.

    The solid purple is a great start, but it is the "gold" numbering/lettering that destroys this piece. Toning that gold down for a white or a much less crazy shade of yellow would be huge in helping this uniform reach the height of its potential.


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    There is only one thought I have about these, and it is not a nice thought. Much worse than the LSU purple and gold, the golden gophers aren't blinding, but more or less extremely strange. The yellow collar along with the lettering/numbering is really strong on the deep maroon Minnesota boasts.

    The worst feature, however, has to be the deep maroon jersey. It is a difficult color to like and overall a tough uniform to enjoy.

West Virginia

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    Unlike Michigan, the Mountaineers smartly chose not to emphasize the bright yellow color that complements their dark blue. By doing so, however, they didn't use it enough. 

    The lettering of "West Virginia" is a great font, but the color scheme is way off. Just a yellow trim with a inside being that same as the rest of the jersey looks extremely tacky. The numbering is fine with the white fill, but something with the lettering has to change for these to get any better.  


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    For the last time, too much orange. Way too much neon orange. I understand the fact that not only is "orange" Syracuse's primary color, but also its mascot. I also understand, however, that orange is extremely hard to look at in certain shades and this is certainly one of those shades.

    More black trim would really pull this uniform together while the gray color for the numbering would be a neat color to emphasize somewhere on the jersey. Just a few simple touch-ups and the best squad in college basketball would be looking sharp once again.