Ranking the 10 Worst Current Uniforms in College Basketball
College basketball hasn’t endured the explosion of new uniforms that has bombarded the college gridiron, but plenty of teams have been trying out new designs in the past few years. Unfortunately, some of those designs should have been left on the drawing board, or (preferably) burned there.
Louisville’s Cardinals are starting to turn into the Clothes-Horses, with a barrage of new looks almost worthy of Oregon football. Many of this year’s versions worked just fine, but these home whites are too much white and not enough of anything else.
Read on for more on Louisville’s color-free look and the rest of the 10 least appealing outfits to be found on collegiate hardwood.
10. Syracuse (Home)
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Syracuse’s glaring orange road jerseys have their own problems, but at least the Orange can be forgiven for taking their nickname and running with it. These home whites don’t have that excuse, and they’re still awful.
The test pattern on the shorts looks silly on any uniform, serving mostly to remind everyone that navy blue (which would really, really help here) is absent from the jerseys.
As bad as the contrast is for orange lettering on white jerseys, the grey numbers are even worse.
9. Evansville (Road)
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Sometimes, the uniform designers get stuck in a no-win situation by the school colors. There’s no good solution to purple and orange, but Evansville manages to come up with a particularly bad version.
The Purple Aces have little choice but to feature purple jerseys and shorts on the road, but that’s exactly why they should be minimizing the orange.
The outlines around the lettering are tolerable, but the orange stripe down the side just emphasizes what an awful color combination this is.
8. Kansas State (Home)
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Like many teams on this list, Kansas State has several well-designed uniform options to choose from. It also has these.
It’s hard to say whether the purple lettering really isn’t as bright as the Wildcats’ normal shade, or whether the leaden gray uniforms just dull all colors within their reach.
The lack of contrast gets even worse when the uniforms get wet from sweating, which basketball players tend to do on occasion.
7. Florida A&M (Road)
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Even the Miami Dolphins, whose teal uniforms are an NFL fixture, don’t use this much of it at one time. There’s a reason for that.
The Rattlers try to mimic the rest of the Dolphins’ color scheme, too, but the orange outline on the lettering does more to make it look out of focus than to make it stand out.
The white shoulder pads aren’t a good idea for any jersey, and they aren’t any better here.
6. Marquette (Alternate Road)
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Lots of teams have started trying to do something interesting with the side panels of their uniforms. Unfortunately, “interesting” can turn into “ugly” very quickly, and Marquette has been one of the worst offenders.
None of the Golden Eagles’ distractingly busy side patterns is a good idea, but this one also clashes with the powder blue of the jersey itself. The gold outlining on the lettering also looks dreadful in this color scheme.
5. Louisville (Alternate Home)
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Just when Louisville appeared to have shown some sense by ditching its painful 2012 postseason jerseys, the Cardinals break out this design.
It looks like there wasn’t much left in the colored-thread budget, because these uniforms use about as little color as humanly possible.
The almost all-white lettering isn’t any fun to read, either, although at least the red outline gets semi-decent contrast. The black stripe on the shorts, meanwhile, serves mostly to hammer home what a monotonous look this is.
4. Cincinnati (Postseason Road)
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Cincinnati didn’t even get the worst version of the deservedly maligned postseason outfits from Adidas. However, the Bearcats were the only team that actually wore the atrocious road version last season, so they get the bad fortune of standing in for the whole bunch.
The inexplicable striped shorts that look like giant fingerprints are the most obvious problem here, but turning Cincy’s usual red into a garish pink-orange is a crime in its own right.
The rest of the schools for which Adidas unveiled versions of these—UCLA, Kansas, Louisville, Notre Dame and Baylor—should seriously reconsider.
Then again, some of those programs have long since proved that they wouldn’t know a decent uniform if their fans were using it to shield their eyes.
3. Notre Dame (Postseason Road)
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If only key lime pie were an Irish food, this design would finally make sense. As it is, poor Notre Dame is stuck looking like it’s advertising sherbet.
The darker green lettering, meanwhile, barely shows up, and it’s shiny enough that when you can see it, you don’t want to. About the only good thing about this look is that the light color also keeps the stupid-looking shorts from being very obvious.
2. Baylor (Alternate Home)
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Highlighter green isn’t even an appealing color in a highlighter. There’s no earthly excuse for making the entire uniform out of this eye-scorching shade.
Perversely, the rest of the design is actually pretty solid, with no unnecessary frills and good contrast between colors. Nothing can save these outfits short of a pair of sunglasses, but they do deserve credit for not doing everything wrong.
1. Michigan (Alternate Home)
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Without looking at the slide title, would you be able to tell whose uniform this is? Quite possibly not, because the faint blue lettering on the glaring yellow background is virtually illegible.
The problem even extends to the jersey number, making it an adventure to figure out which player that last foul was called on.
The yellow here isn’t quite as ugly as some other monocolored uniforms, but in conjunction with the invisible text, it’s bad enough to earn the top spot.