College Basketball: 9 of the Best Uniforms in Recent History

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2012

College Basketball: 9 of the Best Uniforms in Recent History

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    It is one thing to dominate a college basketball game. It’s another thing entirely to look good doing it.

    Some college hoops teams just look better than others do, and the threads they are wearing play a large part in it.

    Earlier this week I presented nine of the ugliest uniforms in recent college basketball history. So, in the interest of fairness and balance, here are nine of the best collegiate jerseys in recent history.

    Feel free to remark on those jerseys that you think I left out in the comments section below (after all, thanks to your comments I now know I should have included Baylor’s highlighter yellow jerseys in the ugly article).

Michigan State

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    Like the chant that Spartan fans echo throughout games, the green and white just works well here (it also works in reverse with a white jersey and green lettering).

    Then there’s the word State written in large script right across the chest. It’s just the right amount of arrogance for one of college basketball’s greatest programs.

    Sure, there may be a lot of state universities, but the Spartans make sure everyone knows who "State" is. And they've earned that right.


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    It’s rare to see a black and yellow combination outside the city of Pittsburgh.

    It’s also rare to see a black and yellow combination on a sports uniform that doesn’t look good.

    Hey, it works for the Steelers, it works for Wiz Khalifa and it works for the VCU Rams. Who are we to argue?


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    The UCLA baby blue jersey (it is baby blue, right?) is one of the most iconic uniforms in the sport.

    It’s simple, yet very effective. In fact, there’s something about the light blue and yellow combination that just screams California—bright, sunny and a little laid back.

    And after a few lean years, these jerseys should be back where they belong this season as the Bruins play deep into March.

Long Beach State

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    While UCLA may be the national brand from California, its in-state companions made some noise last season by parlaying one of the most difficult non-conference schedules in the country into an NCAA tournament appearance.

    The Long Beach State 49ers could have gone a number of different (and more boring) directions with their jerseys. For instance, it could have said Long Beach, it could have said 49ers or it could have said LBSU.

    Instead, the program went with "The Beach." And they pulled it off.

    It’s distinctive, unusual and has a bit of swagger to it.

    Most importantly, it is recently helping the 49ers carve out a fan base of their own.


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    Sorry Duke haters, the Blue Devils have to appear on this list.

    Much like UCLA, the Duke jersey oozes tradition and demands instant respect.

    The royal blue and white or black combination, along with the large Duke across the chest, almost announces to the program’s detractors and opponents that "we are here, and we will defeat you."

    If there is any uniform in college basketball that has an intimidating presence, it may be Duke’s.

North Carolina

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    Alright, so I may have lied to you in the last slide when I said if there is any jersey in college basketball that can intimidate opponents, it is Duke’s.

    Because it may actually be North Carolina’s.

    I mean, Carolina Blue might as well be an official Crayola Crayon at this point.

    Anyone who has ever watched a college basketball game (and plenty who haven’t) knows what it looks like without having to see a picture of Michael Jordan, James Worthy or any other legendary Tar Heel who has donned the color in Chapel Hill.

    Throw in the diamond design on the side, the Air Jordan logo and the North Carolina words broken up by the number, and we may have the best uniform in the sport.


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    Syracuse’s team name is the Orange. And they wear orange. They wear a lot of it, in fact.

    Other teams have orange as one of their official colors, but nobody quite figures out how to make it look good like Syracuse does.

    Really, it’s fitting that the program that makes orange look the best is the Orange themselves.

Georgetown and Ohio State

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    The final two jerseys on this list share a slide because two slides back to back saying the exact same thing would have seemed repetitive.

    Georgetown and Ohio State may be the best of the best when it comes to college basketball’s recent gray craze.

    For one, gray is actually a school color for these two programs. If gray isn’t a school color, it rarely looks right (I mean, look at Purdue in the Yahoo! link above).

    It’s surprisingly easy for college basketball teams to mess up the gray look, considering that it really is a plain color.

    But the Hoyas and Buckeyes nail it.