The 25 Best Logos in College Basketball

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IMarch 14, 2012

The 25 Best Logos in College Basketball

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    With 345 Division I college basketball schools, it's next to impossible to determine a list of the best logos in the sport, with differing opinions and school pride on the line.

    But it's March Madness, so why not give it a shot?  Here are the 25 best logos in Division I college basketball.

    Logos are primarily evaluated on their creativity, ability to stand out and originality.  Essentially, the orange "S" of Syracuse will not be on the list.  Additionally, the history and recognizably of a logo will be considered too.

    Regardless, lets get to it.

    Obviously a piece like this can be up to huge debate, so please comment on your favorite logos below!

25. Detroit Titans

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    An intense and in-your-face logo which gives me chills every time I see it.

    I feel like I'm watching 300 again.

    Fortunately, Detroit will be taking their awesome sword and shield logo to the Big Dance, earning the Horizon League auto-bid with a victory over Valparaiso.

24. Montana Grizzlies

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    Okay, first off, there is a disclaimer with this pick—I am a student at the University of Montana.

    Am I biased?  Most likely.  Is it bad sports journalism (if an article of this nature is even considered sports journalism) to give bonus props to your own school?  Probably.

    Hear me out though—it's not like I was a total Homer and put Montana at number one.  This logo is one of the most authentic and artistic in college hoops.

    It is one mean logo, too.  From whatever angle I look at it, I still see the grizzly's eyes staring right at me.

    Agree with me or not, this is one logo I am proud of.

23. Florida Gators

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    Since 1998, the Florida Gators have been rocking this logo.  Since then, the Gators have won two BCS National Championships and two NCAA Basketball National Championships.

    Obviously a great logo isn't the reason for Florida's athletic success over the past decade, but it certainly hasn't hurt it.

    Why is this logo awesome?  Its original, ferocious and an instant classic.

    I wouldn't want to wrestle this gator.

22. Binghamton Bearcats

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    Binghamton may have only gone 2-29 this season, but at least off the court they have the ability to produce a sweet logo.

    Judging by the Bearcat's arms, he likely spends more time in the weight room than most Binghamton athletes.  Additionally, the dark green color adds a surprisingly great touch.

21. Central Florida Knights

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    There's just something about a knight in gold armor that makes a great logo.

    Lets just say I'd take UCF's knight in a medieval battle over any other knight in the country—except for Army's, but (foreshadowing) we will get to them much later.

20. San Jose State Spartans

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    Take Michigan State's logo, paint it yellow, give it an awesome light-blue cape and then throw in a spear.

    You now have an awesome logo.

    I seriously doubt any real Spartans lived in San Jose, California 2,500 years ago, but this is still a terrific logo nevertheless.

19. NJIT Highlanders

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    Sometimes our society likes to poke a little fun at people with red hair.

    However, if I looked this Highlander right in the eye and made fun of him, well, there would likely be some nasty consequences.

    Great logo, New Jersey Institute of Technology.

18. Cal State Northridge Matadors

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    Unfortunately for Cal State Northridge's basketball program, the Matadors were unable to participate in the postseason for the 2011-2012 season thanks to a low Academic Progress Rate (APR) score.

    On the upside, the Matadors have been proudly boasting this logo since 1999.

    While a Matador is technically a bull fighter, the man in this logo looks ready to throw a beat down in an MMA cage fight.

17. Clemson Tigers

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    While other "Tiger" teams roll with boring logos (like Kentucky) or logos with terrible artwork (like Memphis), Clemson has one of college basketball's simplest logos

    It is also one of college basketball's most simplistic and recognizable logos.

    The tradition is there too, as Clemson has had the paw print logo since 1976.

16. Old Dominion Monarchs

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    Almost like MGM's trademark lion in their logo, except this lion has a crown.

    Sounds cool and original to me.

    Good work Old Dominion.

15. Buffalo Bulls

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    I doubt the Matador from Cal State Northridge's logo would want to take on this bull.

    Let's be serious, its blue and it has a nose ring.

    Sometimes the best logos are the ones that can be fierce yet comical at the same time. Buffalo fits the bill perfectly here.

14. Michigan Wolverines

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    Not necessarily a super creative logo, but Michigan's logo is on the list for its massive nationwide appeal.

    Head football coach Brady Hoke said, "This is Michigan for God's sake" after all.  When you see this blue (or sometimes yellow) "M," you always know its Michigan, even when its not written in front of the "M."

    Its next to impossible to walk into an athletic store nationwide and not see this logo planted on a single item of clothing.

13. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Take everything mentioned in the previous slide, except for Brady Hoke's "This is Michigan" statement, and apply it here.

    Ohio State ranks even higher because the logo itself is simply better.  The pristine "Ohio State" text runs nearly perfectly over the block "O."

    Sorry Big Blue, but Buckeye nation won here.

12. Eastern Kentucky Colonials

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    If you ignore the cowboy hat, lack of huge glasses and the furious look on his face, you are looking at Colonel Sanders.

    I don't know about the rest of you sports fans, but I love Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Any university which even gives the slightest tribute to Colonel Sanders in their logo is a win for me.

    Along with the above analysis, Eastern Kentucky's old logo may even be cooler.

11. Arizona State Sun Devils

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    From 1980 up until recently, Arizona State's athletic programs have been represented by the logo shown here.

    Simply put, the logo was silly.

    In April 2011, the Sun Devils released this logo.  Some love the logo and some do not, while others think it is in the process of becoming popular with area gangs.

    Either way I think the logo is great.  Its simple, intimidating and gets bonus points for not being a letter, an animal or a person.

    Nice upgrade Sun Devils.

10. Miami (FL) Hurricanes

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    Only one school can proclaim themselves as "The U."

    And that school is Miami.

    The Hurricanes make orange and green look good together too.

9. Massachusetts Minutemen

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    Is it just me or does this Minuteman look like a linebacker for the New England Patriots?

    Or maybe he could take on Cal State Northridge's Matador in that MMA fight?

    Even though they are only NIT-bound, the Minutemen in Amherst know how to make a great logo.

8. Florida International Golden Panthers

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    Former NBA-star Isiah Thomas is only 26-65 in three seasons at Florida International, and the Panthers haven't been to the NCAA Tournament since 1995.

    At least FIU can be productive off the court with this great logo.

    Like Montana's logo, this panther continues to stare at you right in the eye from any angle.  I get the vibe that at any moment the panther is going to jump right out of the logo and attack, likely at an unsuspecting Florida Atlantic Owl.

7. Texas-El Paso Miners

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    A very picturesque scene here.  The sunset and mountains in the background.  The pickax swinging high in the air.

    Pretty sure the man could bench press a house too.

    Just another day "doin' work" in the El Paso Mountains for this guy though.  Proof "tough guys" contribute to making great collegiate logos.

6. College of Charleston Cougars

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    Another very picturesque logo.  Nothing too scary or intimidating going on here.  However, this cougar is one fine work of art that would even make the pickiest art critic a fan of the College of Charleston.

    If this artwork was any better done, it would likely appear in National Geographic.  Enough said.

5. North Dakota State Bison

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    That is one mean bison and it is not one animal I would want to mess with, even with a 50-foot pole.

    And look at that steam coming out of the Bison's nostrils.  Kind of looks like a mushroom cloud.  Coincidence?  I think not.

    While North Dakota State was not ultimately successful on the basketball court this season, the Bison won their first FCS Football National Championship over Sam Houston State in January.

    Again, having a sweet logo certainly can't hurt the cause.

4. Texas Longhorns

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    While Texas sweated this Selection Sunday on the bubble, this is one list they belong on without a doubt.

    Texas's logo is simple, original and arguably the most recognizable logo in college athletics.

    Hook 'em indeed.

3. Army Black Knights

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    Like Purdue, Army sports the black and gold colors proudly.

    The fury of the logo stands out, and is a great representation of the student athletes who serve our great country at the United States Military Academy.

    If it weren't for the knight helmet and the sword, I would have sworn the knight in this logo was a superhero, most specifically Batman.

2. Purdue Boliermakers

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    While Purdue has used the block "P" logo more frequently for their basketball program, their "locomotive" logo is one of the best in college hoops.

    First off, Purdue gets huge points for originality.  Like Detroit and Arizona State, the Boilermakers are one of the few universities without an animal or a person in their logo. Additionally it's a representation of the university's strong engineering program.

    Second, this is one intense logo.  The train is emerging out of a massive cloud of steam, proudly sporting the "PURDUE" text and black and gold colors.

    Needless to say, if anyone—especially a Hoosier—is standing on the tracks right in front of this hurling train, they should move.  And fast.

    Well done, Boilermakers.

1. Florida State Seminoles

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    Again, where there are 345 Division I college basketball programs it is impossible to settle on the 25 best logos, let alone the single best logo in college basketball.

    Lets be real, every fan has their own personal favorite college basketball logo.  However, whether one agrees with Florida State at number one or not, the tradition, authenticity and originality of the logo should not be disputed (possibly unless you live in Gainesville, Florida).

    Congrats, Seminoles.  You have the best logo in college basketball.

    Let the war chant begin.

    Additionally on a slight side note, the state of Florida placed five of the 25 logos on this list. Nice work Sunshine State.