Need a shot of energy to wake you up this morning? Forget coffee, Red Bull or those weird tabs you dissolve on your tongue. Just take a look at this set of new college basketball uniforms from Adidas:
Wow. There’s a lot to digest there. This first thing that hits you — slaps you in the face might be a better description — is the bright colors. Have we finally moved past the era where black sports uniforms were considered tough and cool and every team had to go with the “black-out” look? We can hope. It’s refreshing to finally see some bold colors. Sports uniforms, like fashion, are cyclical and it makes sense that the neon colors that were popular in the early 1990s would re-emerge at some point.
Going hand-in-hand with neon back in the ’90s was Zubaz, the tiger-striped sweatpants and shorts sported by the mulleted, T-shirt-tucked-in, beer-in-hand tough guys of the era. Zubaz is back in a big way on these uniforms — but, curiously, it’s still constrained to bottoms. Why can’t there ever be a Zubaz shirt?
Speaking of shirts, you’ll probably notice that three of these new uniforms have sleeves. The Golden State Warriors just became the only NBA team to sport jerseys with sleeves, but sleeves have actually been a part of college basketball for many years, though they usually appear in the form of undershirts. The shoulder striping on these Adidas jerseys kind of gives the appearance of an undershirt, which isn’t a bad look (but it’s not a great one, either).
If I had to rank the uniforms above, I’d put Louisville and Baylor at the top. Even with the sleeves, I think the Zubaz shorts work best for these two teams (maybe it’s because they’re more muted than the others). Then I’d go with the Cincinnati Bearcats, even though I trashed all-black uniforms earlier in this post. At least black is part of the Bearcats’ identity and they aren’t just doing black uniforms for the sake of it. I’d have Notre Dame, UCLA and Kansas all tied for last. Maybe it’s because I don’t love the idea of programs with the history of Kansas and UCLA messing around with their identities like this; maybe it’s because I just don’t think the Adidas designs work as well with these colors.