NCAA Propaganda

One of my favorite parts of watching the NCAA Tournament is the ability to tune into action going on across the country at one time. Now that there are four networks that stagger the starts of the games a bit, there is not the same simultaneous madness there had been in years past.

While the staggered starts actually work to the advantage of the fan because of the loss of cut-ins and the viewer now gaining the choice of what to watch, the madness has been cut down because of the uniform courts in each arena where the tournament is taking place.

For the past few years, the NCAA Tournament court has become a very bland and boring design.

Basketball courts are all inherently the same. They have to be the same distance, the 3-point line is the same, there’s not much room for creativity. However, the NCAA has taken out all the character of the courts with their uniform design.

It makes for a more confusing viewing experience over the first two rounds. When switching from game to game, the viewer loses track of what exactly they are watching because the courts and arenas for that matter have lost all their distinguishing features.

The NCAA strives to make the various hosts arenas into typical gyms with no distinguishing features when the tournament comes to town. It makes it seem very sad and semi-tyrannical. Part of the fun of the tournament for me is seeing all the different arenas and now stadiums across the country.

As things move on to the Final Four eventually, we will see a different logo in the middle of the court at the Superdome, but besides that, get ready for more of the same when watching games.

March Madness Rave Party!!

Baylor forward Quincy Acy looked like someone took a giant highlighter to his uniform for Thursday's game against Kansas State. Photo by Getty Images

Adidas decided to add a little more madness this March.

Starting with the conference tournaments and on through the NCAAs, three teams will look like they belong among black lights and glow sticks rather than the basketball court.

Louisville, Cincinnati and Baylor all debuted neon uniforms made by Adidas during their conference tournaments this week. While all three are pretty stunning to the eye, Louisville and Cincinnati come nowhere close to the stunning uniforms Baylor used Thursday against Kansas State.

The Bears started causing a stir in the uniform world during football season, but nothing compares to the highlighter uniforms that stunned the crowd in Kansas City.

Louisville had the least noticeable neon in a victory over Seton Hall Wednesday night. The lettering on the uniform was the biggest shock. Cincinnati turned some heads with its bright red shoes and loud piping in a Big East quarterfinal against Georgetown.

Overall, the uniforms aren’t the worst things in the world, and it’s good to see a bit of a stir caused from the college basketball world.

Nike picks out the Elite in college basketball

Nine college basketball teams will be debuting these platinum uniforms sometime in the next month. Photo courtesy of Kentucky Sports Radio

At least that is what they make it seem like with the new line of Nike Hyper Elite Platinum uniforms that were unveiled on Wednesday.

Nine teams (both men and women) will go to a new, sleek gray look for one game each this season. If you’re a fan of Arizona, the Baylor women’s team, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Connecticut (men’s and women’s) or North Carolina, look out for some changes in your team’s look very soon.

The primary theme here is gray (or platinum, I guess.) Every team will feature that as their primary color for the select games. There is also a decent accent along the sides that runs all the way down to the socks and shoes for each team. The accent goes along with the color the school is primarily known for (orange for Syracuse, blue for Duke, etc.)

There will also be a change-up in the name displayed across the uniform for most teams (UConn, Kentucky and Baylor escaped that fate.) For example, Syracuse will have “Cuse” written across the front, while Duke will have “Blue Devils” broken across the numbers.

If these were going to be the permanent uniforms for any of these teams, I would definitely have a problem with it, but since from all indications, it will just be a one-time shot, they’re fine by me.

Here’s a more in-depth look at the Syracuse uniforms courtesy of  blogger Nunes Magician.

Here’s a schedule of when your team will be be donning these uniforms:

UConn vs. Notre Dame (1/29), Kentucky vs. Tennessee (1/31), Duke vs. Maryland (2/11), Baylor (women’s) vs. Texas A&M (2/11), Florida vs. Tennessee (2/11), Syracuse vs. USF (2/22), Arizona vs. UCLA (2/25), UConn (women’s) vs. Notre Dame (2/27) and UNC vs. Maryland (2/29).

Enjoy them if you choose to, but remember they will likely be a one-and-done experiment.

Miami Heat losing their color

LeBron James lead the Heat to a big victory over the Lakers on Thursday night in this black and white uniform. Photo by Getty Images

The Heat seem to have embraced their role as the villains of the NBA since LeBron James decided to take his talents to South Beach in the summer of 2010.

In the way they talk and now in their uniform choice, most everything about the Heat shows they embrace their image.

That was taken to a new level Thursday night when Miami decided to go with a simple black and white uniform. No signs of red or yellow that a usual Heat uniform might feature. No, this one looked like a practice jersey.

It was a bad choice for many reasons for Miami. It also made the Lakers go with their yellow home jerseys on a court that has yellow paint.

The effect made the game difficult to watch because of the bright colors when the teams were in the half-court offense. Hopefully, we never see something like this again from the Heat.

Just a quick aside here, Virginia Tech went with a gray look at home against North Carolina on Thursday night. This could turn into a trend in college basketball very soon.

Shades of gray for Syracuse?

Jim Boeheim might be surrounded by lots of gray instead of customary orange in the coming weeks. Photo by Getty Images

The great Paul Lukas, who made it OK to take on this uniform obsession with Uni-Watch, has started up a bit of an uproar today when he said there is word the Syracuse Orange may opt for a gray look in the upcoming weeks.

Rumors are it could come against archrival Georgetown on Feb. 8.

The Orange have not been shy about changing uniforms in recent years as they were one of the first to go with the space-age type silver lining along the shoulders. The variations have always been slight, with the exception of a blue alternate the team wore against Notre Dame a few years back.

The fact this change may come against Georgetown may only upset the fanbase more because of the Hoyas’ inkling toward that plain color. We’ll reserve judgement until the uniforms actually make their debut on the court.