Top 25 Worst College Basketball Uniforms Ever

February 26th, 2015| by

  • 25. Notre Dame’s Black Uniforms

    College basketball’s history includes some of the most unsightly athletic uniforms you will ever see. Want proof? Feast your eyes on our rankings of the Top 25 Worst College Basketball Uniforms Ever.

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    Even a school bound by heritage as much as Notre Dame can succumb to the “Black Out” fever that has swept the nation. We’re usually big proponents of this look, but the Irish’s attempt in 2012 left us shrugging our shoulders unimpressed, as the fluorescent blue and green numbers and letters are almost impossible to see.

  • 24. Marquette’s Baby Blue Uniforms

    As you’ll see from this list, Marquette isn’t afraid to experiment with its basketball uniforms. Unfortunately, some of those experiments should have stayed in the lab, like this road baby blue uniform from the early 1970s with hideous striping and ridiculous arching “Marquette” on the chest.

  • 23. UCF’s Pinstripe Uniforms

    Perhaps as a nod to the Orlando Magic, UCF unveiled pinstripe home threads prior to the 2013-2014 season. The effort was there, but the execution was not. Something just seemed very off about the UCF uniforms between the pinstripes, the V-neck collar and the logo in the middle instead of “UCF” horizontally across the front of the jersey.

  • 22. Syracuse’s Two-Toned Throwbacks

    The Orange took the floor in a 2014 game in orange jerseys with “Syracuse” spelled out in old-school script across the chest. That was completely ruined by pairing it with dark blue shorts. Perhaps as karmic payback from the fashion gods, ‘Cuse fell to unranked BC that night.

  • 21. Notre Dame’s Neon Green Alternates

    When the Commander-in-chief pans your new uniforms, you know you’ve done something wrong. In March of 2013, President Barack Obama had Notre Dame losing to Ohio State in the second round of his bracket due in large part to the Fighting Irish’s threads. “That’s one reason why they shouldn’t go any further,” POTUS explained to ESPN’s Andy Katz. “That neon glow thing wasn’t working for me.”

  • 20. Florida A&M’s Shoulder Pad Uniforms

    Florida A&M’s “shoulder pad” uniforms were a full-on debacle. In addition to unnecessary white piping on the shorts, the shoulder of the jerseys featured a white shoulder pad-like design that was both ugly and didn’t make sense.

  • 19. Albany’s Two-Sided Shorts

    The Great Danes made college hoops fans sit up and take notice – not just because they reached the 2014 Big Dance and won a play-in game against Mount St. Mary’s, but because they did so in some truly hideous threads. Splashing “UAlbany” across the front as opposed to just “Albany” seems strange, but not as bizarre as the awful two-sided shorts.

  • 18. Cincinnati’s Zubaz Uniforms

    Among all the critically panned new uniforms that Adidas released for six of its clients prior to the 2013 NCAA Tournament, was Cincy’s 1980s-style “Zubaz” uniforms. “Cincinnati’s uniforms would make them difficult to see among the patrons of Studio 54 in the ’80’s,” ESPN’s Jay Bilas tweeted upon their unveiling. “Tragically, they are easy to see now.”

  • 17. Texas Tech’s Postseason Uniforms

    Rather appropriately, the Red Raiders capped off an ugly 2012-2013 season by sporting some similarly unsightly uniforms for the Big 12 tournament. The red and black shoulders set against black and white torso portion of the jersey made the threads resemble a WNBA uniform – or a baby bib. And the logo in the middle was equally hideous.

  • 16. Northwestern’s By The Players Uniforms

    If what Northwestern wore in January of 2014 against Illinois was just a predominantly gray uniform with purple trim, it’d be a decent look. Alas, it’s so much more than that – in a bad way. The left shoulder of the jersey and the entirety of the front of the shorts are covered with random symbols and team mantras. Yuck.

  • 15. Baylor’s Sic ‘Em Bears Uniforms

    Many people weren’t fond of Baylor’s neon uniforms from the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Where we drew the line was two years later when adidas tried to outfit the Bears in neon and gray uniforms with the words “Sic ‘Em Bears” on the front. Thankfully, the NCAA banned Baylor from wearing these before we were subjected to these absurd creations on the court.

  • 14. Kentucky’s Platinum Uniforms

    Surely Kentucky, one of the proudest college basketball programs in the country, could have found a better way to celebrate its centennial in 2002-03 than with this. Nike designed platinum Wildcat uniforms as a sort of “back to the future” look that included a belt around the waist. Thankfully, these unis were only worn once.

  • 13. Villanova’s Graffiti Uniforms

    Like other schools on this list, Villanova tried “bold” new ways to modernize their uniforms in the 1990s, only to fall flat on their faces. (Hey, it was the ’90s, right?) It’s a shame that Kerry Kittles had to wear this abomination during the 1994–1995 season that looked like “Villanova” was written in graffiti and shorts that could make you go cross-eyed.

  • 12. Marquette’s Jungle Print Uniforms

    If you thought the road Marquette unis from the early 1970s were ugly, check out the team’s road wear from the early 1980s. The jungle-style striping on the sides of the jerseys and shorts should never be spoken of again.

  • 11. Kentucky’s Denim Uniforms

    Making basketball uniforms out of denim feels like an idea from a “Seinfeld” episode. Providing Kentucky with uniforms made with denim was one of several fashion faux pas that Converse committed in its tenure as the Wildcats’ provider of athletic apparel. From far away, they didn’t look too awful. But up close, it was all too apparent the Wildcats were playing in uniforms made of jeans.

  • 10. Marquette’s Bumblebee Uniforms

    Then nicknamed the Warriors, Marquette might as well have switched their moniker to Bumblebees prior to the 1969–1970 season. The team’s decision to adopt uniforms that resembled old-fashioned men’s swimsuits was completely intentional. It was the brainchild of Milwaukee-based Medalist Industries and coach Al McGuire; the former sought name recognition, the latter sought something that would get potential recruits buzzing (pun intended).

  • 9. North Carolina’s Logo Uniforms

    North Carolina has the best uniforms in college basketball. But for some reason unknown to man, UNC and Nike teamed up in the late 1990s to replace said perfect uniforms with the schools interlocking “NC” logo on the chest instead of the words “North Carolina.” These are sacrilegious.

  • 8. UCLA’s Short-Sleeves Uniforms

    While the postseason uniforms that the Three Stripes came up with for the 2013 postseason are hideous as a whole, UCLA’s are especially a travesty. Between the short sleeves, the Zubaz stripes on the sleeves and shorts and the general appearance of the jersey that looks more fitted for a football field, this look is a disgrace for a program with so much tradition and some of the best and classy uniforms in the country.

  • 7. Northwestern’s Night Gown Uniforms

    Oh, Northwestern. The only BCS conference team never to make the NCAA tournament has looked bad on the hardwood in multiple ways over the years, as awful basketball has been combined with worse uniforms over the last two decades. Case in point: Northwestern’s night gown uniforms from late 1990s. If you think they look bad in the picture on the left, take a closer look at Evan Eschmeyer sporting them here and here. Yeah, that just happened.

  • 6. Kansas State’s Two-Toned Uniforms

    The Wildcats’ unique look was first introduced in the 1970s but didn’t receive notice until 1981, during an unlikely run to the Elite Eight. “The immediate instinct is to laugh,” wrote one Washington Post scribe of that Rolando Blackman-led team, “for its uniforms are the sort of two-tone purple nobody beyond a beer league would dare wear in public.” ESPN’s Page 2 went even further, once voting them the ugliest uniforms in all of college sports. For some reason, K-State to decided to wear them again as throwbacks when Denis Clemente was in school.

  • 5. Evansville’s Sleeved Uniforms

    While sleeved jerseys are becoming a new fad in college hoops and the NBA, Evansville was rocking sleeved unis for decades up until the 2002-03 season. The look was absolutely horrendous, as the Purple Aces’ players looked like they were wearing massively oversized V-neck t-shirts instead of basketball jerseys.

  • 4. Kentucky’s Cat Claw Uniforms

    Poor Tony Delk. Not only did he have to wear denim uniforms, he also got stuck in these in the mid-1990s. Note to designers: Any uniform with claw designs on it is a bad idea. These shorts were seemingly stolen from pants worn by hair metal band members.

  • 3. Kansas’ Yellow Uniforms

    Most Jayhawks fans remember the 1987–1988 team for “Danny and the Miracles” and their unlikely run to the national title. Unfortunately, KU’s yellow uniform is also part of that historic year. Yes, Kansas wore yellow uniforms. Even more horrifying than the uniforms themselves is that someone saw fit to pay $650 for one of them.

  • 2. NC State’s Unitard Uniforms

    Nike apparently confused basketball with wrestling in the 1980s when The Swoosh outfitted the NC State Wolfpack in unitard basketball uniforms that only looked like separate jerseys and shorts. How NC State was able to recruit any player to come to Raleigh during this period is still a mystery.

  • 1. Marquette’s Baby Bib Uniforms

    The shining moment for Marquette’s basketball program, the 1977 NCAA title game win over North Carolina, came when Al McGuire’s players were clad in jerseys that – at best – resembled baby bibs. At worst, it looked like maternity wear. They were the brainchild of one of McGuire’s former players, Bo Ellis, who had “Marquette” written across the bottom so the unis could be purposely untucked.

    When you combine the baby-blue-and-gold color scheme with the baby-bib look and tiny gold shorts, you have the most hideous and emasculating uniforms in college basketball history.

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