The Uni Watch college basketball preview

While only one team cuts down the nets, hundreds of other teams will still bring their iconic look to the court. Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos/Getty Images

The NBA and MLB have 30 teams apiece, the NHL has 31, and the NFL has 32. Running down all of the uniform changes at the start of the season for any of those leagues is a fairly manageable task. Then you have college football -- 130 FBS schools. That's a lot of ground to cover, but it's still doable.

And then there's Division I college basketball.

Thirty-two conferences! Three hundred fifty-one schools! And many of them seem to change uniforms just about every season. It's no wonder that your friendly uniform columnist tends to be pretty worn out by this time of year.

But the show, as they say, must go on. So with the college hoops season set to tip off on Tuesday, it's time for the annual Uni Watch College Hoops Season Preview, where we run down all of this season's new uniforms and court designs.

All 351 D-I schools were contacted during the preparation of this column, and more than 100 of them are represented in the text that follows. If a school isn't listed, that means it either said, "No changes for us this year" or simply didn't respond to your friendly uniform columnist's inquiries (although if history is any guide, a bunch of them will respond after this story has been published).

OK, enough preliminaries -- here's what you can expect to see on the court this season, with the usual caveat that there will probably be lots of additional uniforms (camouflage, blackout, gray-out, March Madness, etc.) unveiled as the season progresses.

Jump to a conference:

ACC | America East | American Athletic | Atlantic Sun | Atlantic 10 | Big East | Big West | Big Sky | Big South | Big Ten | Big 12 | Colonial Athletic | Conference USA | Horizon League | Ivy League | MAAC | MAC | Missouri Valley | Mountain West | Northeast | Ohio Valley | Pac 12 | Patriot League | SEC | Southern | Southland | Summit League | SWAC | Sun Belt | WAC | West Coast


Georgia Tech has moved from Russell Athletic to Adidas, and is now sporting a traditional but fairly sharp look (additional photos and info here):

• Very nice new set for Miami, which thankfully has jettisoned its "grass skirt" design:

North Carolina has upgraded a new tailoring template:

In addition, UNC's court is now named after coach Roy Williams, whose signature has been added to the floor design (additional info here):

NC State has updated its jersey font and is going with a more traditional scoop-neck collar:

In addition, the Wolfpack will honor former player T.J. Warren this season by raising his No. 24 jersey to the rafters.

Wake Forest has a new court design this season:

America East

Maine has switched from Nike to New Balance. That might seem like a big shift from a branding perspective, but it hasn't had much effect on the team's on-court look:

Maryland-Baltimore County, fresh off its historic bracket-busting upset of Virginia in last season's March Madness, has five uniforms this season. The home whites have a new chest mark, the grays and golds are almost the same as last season but with a slightly larger retriever logo on the shorts, and there are two new black uniforms, one of which will be revealed later in the year.

American Athletic

Cincinnati's arena will have new video boards this season.

East Carolina is putting its "ECU" abbreviation on its road jersey this season -- a cleaner look.

Houston has transitioned to Nike's Jordan Brand, but the Cougars' basic look hasn't changed very much:

Memphis now has warm-up gear that carries the "1 Cent" logo of coach Penny Hardaway:

SMU's uni changes center mostly on the design of the shorts:

• Two interesting uni-numerical notes for Temple: Guard Shizz Alston Jr. is changing to No. 10 in honor of his dad, who also played for the Owls, and guard Alani Moore is wearing No. 0 to honor his former coach, Butch Cherry.

Tulsa has a new court design this season, featuring a hurricane warning flat at center court:

UConn has upgraded to a new Nike tailoring template that provides a bit more skin coverage:

South Florida has moved from Under Armour to Adidas, and is now saddled with the dreaded shoulder harness:

Also: The Bulls' arena, which for nearly three decades was known as the USF Sun Dome, will now be called the Yuengling Center.

Wichita State has moved from Nike to Under Armour, which has kept the Shockers' look largely intact:

Atlantic Sun

Jacksonville has updated its home and road designs and added a new gray alternate:

See that "JU" logo on the waistbands of all the new shorts? That's a new logo design, and it's also featured at center court (additional info here):

• See the trim that sort of looks like a leopard print pattern on the shoulders and shorts of Kennesaw State's new home uniform? According to a team spokesperson, it's actually a jumble of letters spelling out "KSU" and "OWLS":

Atlantic 10

Dayton's chest lettering should be easier to read this year:

• Oopsie: The jumbotron at George Washington's arena fell onto the court in September. Fortunately, nobody was hurt and everything is back in good working order now.

Richmond has removed the piping from its collar and armholes:

• No changes for St. Bonaventure. "In fact," says a team spokesperson, "our team is superstitious to the point of asking not to change anything from last season."

VCU's new look is mostly about the shorts:

In addition, the Rams have a new gray alternate uni this season (additional info here):

Big East

• Subtle changes for Butler, although the new larger uni numbers will be hard to miss:

The jerseys have a few hidden details, as the rear shirttail carries the slogan "The Butler Way" and is also imprinted with an orange "TH" icon -- a shout-out to Butler arena namesake Tony Hinkle, who created the orange basketball:

In addition, the Bulldogs have a new blue alternate uni -- their first blue design since 2005:

• The Creighton Bluejays are living up to their team name, thanks to new blue chest lettering, blue collars, and blue side panels:

Also: Creighton's arena, formerly known as the CenturyLink Center, will now be called the CHI Health Center.

• Subtle changes for Seton Hall, mostly around the collar, but it's worth noting that the team's new gray set has "Pirates" on the chest. According to a team spokesperson, this is possibly the first time in school history that the team name, rather than the school name, has appeared on a basketball jersey.

Villanova has transitioned to a new Nike template, although the basic design is essentially unchanged:

Xavier has changed its collar trim and given a metallic sheen to the "X" on its shorts:

Big Sky

Montana State is going with a more traditional jersey but has added a bit of flare to its shorts:

Northern Colorado is changing its collar design and number font and, thankfully, scrapping the shoulder harness:

Portland State has a new arena this year, called the Viking Pavilion. As you'd expect, it comes with a new court design (additional info here and here):

Sacramento State has cut down on the gold in its home uni but added more gold to its road design:

The Hornets also have a new court design (additional info here):

Big South

Gardner-Webb has updated its black uni design, which should be much easier to read this season:

Big Ten

• Halle-freakin'-lujah: Illinois is scrapping the crazy zigzag trim:

In addition, the Illini are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the 1988-89 "Flyin' Illini" squad with an excellent throwback uni:

• No reported changes for Indiana, but the Hoosiers' athletics department has a new brand and uniform guide that makes for interesting reading. You can check it out here, and there's additional info here.

Maryland is celebrating its 100th season with a centennial logo. It will be worn as a jersey patch, but not on the front of the jersey. Instead, it will be on the back, above the player's name.

Minnesota has a new court design:

Nebraska has added some very faint gray pinstriping to its home whites:

Ohio State has upgraded to a new Nike template:

In addition, the Buckeyes have made some upgrades to their arena and have a new court design:

Rutgers' new floor design features an outline of New Jersey at center court:

Big 12

Oklahoma has transitioned to Nike's Jordan Brand, which has made a few modifications to the Sooners' look (additional photos here):

The Sooners also have a new court design:

Texas has made some minor tweaks, but the overall look is still familiar and recognizable:

Texas Tech has given us a rear-view tease of this year's red jerseys, which appear to have some additional white trim compared to last season's:

West Virginia has upgraded to a new NIke tailoring template, although you'll have to look hard to see the differences:

Big West

• Lots of changes for Hawaii, which has scrapped the side panels and shoulder stripes and gone with a traditional scoop-neck collar. New trim on the waistband and at the base of the shorts, too:

Long Beach State is really pushing the "Beach" angle, with the "A" shaped like the team's arena:

Also: The 49ers had previously pushed the envelope with their beach-themed court design, but they're going with a more traditional look this season (additional info here):

Colonial Athletic

Drexel has added some shoulder striping and moved to a scoop-neck collar:

North Carolina-Wilmington has a new court design:

William & Mary has undergone a complete identity redesign, anchored by a new primary logo (additional info here):

Conference USA

Florida Atlantic has a new court design:

Middle Tennessee State has removed its side piping -- "for a cleaner look," says a spokesperson.

North Texas is called the Mean Green, so you'd think they'd have a green uniform. But they haven't had one in recent seasons -- until now.

Southern Miss has moved from Russell Athletic to Adidas -- which, unfortunately, has saddled the Golden Eagles with the dreaded shoulder harness:

Western Kentucky has added a jersey patch to commemorate the program's 100th season:

In addition, the Hilltoppers have a new court design this season:

Horizon League

Green Bay has swapped one substandard Adidas template for another:

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has switched from Nike to Adidas, which still can't figure out how to handle college basketball's most cumbersome school name. Seriously, people, has anyone considered putting "Jaguars" on the jerseys?

Also of note: The Jags are removing the players' names from the jerseys this season.

Northern Kentucky has upgraded to a new Adidas template, but the overall feel is still pretty generic:

• Interesting move by Oakland, which is going without any lettering on the front of its jersey -- just a logo:

• Gorgeous new home whites for Wright State, whose new side panels add just the right accent:

Ivy League

Penn has added old-school striping down the sides of its home and road uniforms. The stripes echo the design of the school's old football uniforms.

And on a sad note, Penn has sold the naming rights to the Palestra's court, so the Cathedral of College Basketball will now have a corporate name and ads on the court. Too bad.

Princeton has made several small changes -- a new collar, thicker white outlining on the chest lettering, a new number font, new shouldern striping, and new side piping -- but the overall look is largely the same:


• No more home whites for Canisius. The Golden Griffins will wear gold or a new gray design at home, and gray, gold or blue for road games. A team spokesperson says it's the first time since 1987-88 that the team has not had a white uniform.

Manhattan is going back to basics with an extremely traditional look this season:

• Some minor changes for Siena -- except on the back of the jersey, where the player name lettering is now huge:


Buffalo has updated its white uniforms, which had been stuck in a badly outdated Nike template:

Rider has a new court design featuring a gigantic bronco's head:


• No photo yet, but North Carolina A&T is adding a "DC" memorial patch for former coach Don Corbett, who recently passed away. Corbett won an NCAA-record seven straight conference tournaments for the Aggies in the 1980s.

Missouri Valley

Drake has toned down its jersey presentation, and also has a new court design:

Evansville has scrapped its purple collar and restored the players' names to the jerseys:

• No photos yet, but Indiana State will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its 1979 Final Four run by wearing '79 throwbacks for the Jan. 19 game against Loyola. That game will air on ESPNU.

Northern Iowa is supporting teachers by adding an "Elevating Educators" jersey patch (additional info here):

In addition, the Panthers have a new floor design, which features Uni Watch's favorite school abbreviation at center court (additional info here):

• Thanks to a generous gift from a wealthy alum, Southern Illinois' season opener each season will now be known as the Charles Helleny Tip-Off Classic. This season's inaugural installment will be on Nov. 12, as the Salukis face Buffalo.

Mountain West

Boise State has updated its white, blue, and black uniforms (and has scrapped the orange alternate):

Nevada has moved from Nike to Adidas, which unfortunately has saddled the Wolf Pack with a shoulder harness:

There's also a new throwback that's been added to the mix:

New Mexico has added a new silver-gray alernate uniform to its wardrobe:

San Diego State is transitioning to Nike's Jordan Brand. The new uniforms will be revealed at an exhibition game today.

• Subtle change for Utah State, which has changed the side piping on its home whites:

Wyoming has moved from Nike to Adidas, which has performed a public service by making the Cowboys' chest lettering legible:


Fairleigh Dickinson has changed its home chest lettering from arched to straight, among other small changes:

• Can the Blackbirds be dressed in gray? Apparently, because LIU-Brooklyn has a new gray uni this season:

Robert Morris has updated its blue road uniform and is adding a new red alternate -- the first alternate uni in team history. RMU is also adding the players' names to the back of the jerseys for the first time in 15 years.

St. Francis -- the one in Pennsylvania, not New York -- is going with a much more old-school look this season:

Wagner's green uniform, which was saddled with an outdated Under Armour template while the school's other white and black uniforms had been upgraded, has now received its own update:

Ohio Valley

Belmont has moved from Nike to Under Armour. No sign yet of the new uniforms.

Morehead State has added a new gold uniform to its uni rotation this season:


Arizona has added some trim to its collar and armholes:

In addition, the school has hinted that a throwback could be in the works, but no confirmation on that yet.

• That sound you heard emanating from Phoenix came from Arizona State fans breathing a sigh of relief when they saw that the Sun Devils scrapped last season's embarrassing shorts design:

• Nice upgrade for Colorado. Its new set looks sleek and sharp:

UCLA's arena has received a slight makeover and a new name.

Patriot League

No reported changes for any schools.


• Minor tweaks for Arkansas, including the addition of a nifty little Arkansas-shaped logo on the waistband:

Florida has transitioned to Nike's Jordan Brand. The home whites look virtually unchanged except for a new tailoring template, but the new orange set is a big improvement:

Kentucky has upgraded to a new Nike tailoring template, which isn't quite as revealing as the previous one:

Also: There had apparently been some sort of rumor or narrative that Kentucky players didn't like the checkerboard trim on the uniforms. But a bunch of the players say that isn't the case.

LSU, which already had a pretty conservative design, is going ultra-traditional this season:

Missouri has added a lot of old-school piping to its look (additional photos here):

Curious about that logo on the waistband? It's a reference to the columns on the Mizzou campus:

Texas A&M has changed its jersey collars from V-necks to scoop-necks, among other changes:


North Carolina-Greensboro has a new logo and new uniforms (additional info here):


• Nothing definitive yet, but Abilene Christian has hinted that some throwbacks might be on tap for the Dec. 15 game at Texas Tech.

Central Arkansas wore gray at home last season, but this season they're going back to white:

Houston Baptist has moved from Nike to Under Armour, which has given the Huskies a much more stripe-centric look:

In addition, the Huskies will have the players' names on the back of their jerseys for the first time since 2001-02, and only the second time in program history.

Incarnate Word is changing its chest marks from the team nickname to the school name, among other changes:

Lamar has revised its white home uniform and added a black alternate while leaving its red road design unchanged, which creates an oddly mismatched set:

Northwestern State has gone all in on the dreaded Adidas shoulder harness:

Stephen F. Austin is the latest team to use the font that so many Under Armour schools seem to end up with:

Summit League

Nebraska-Omaha has added more red trim to its black uniform:

North Dakota has a new court design:

• The school previously known as Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne is now Purdue University Fort Wayne, and the school's teams are now the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons. Here's the new logo and court design:

South Dakota has added a new gray alternate design to its uni rotation:

Sun Belt

Appalachian State has updated its black road uniform:

• A pretty pedestrian-looking new set for Arkansas State:

Georgia Southern has updated its look from retro to contemporary:

Georgia State has upgraded to a newer Under Armour tailoring template:

South Alabama has moved from Nike to Adidas, which has given the Jaguars' uniforms some much-needed color:

Texas-Arlington has switched from Adidas to Under Armour. The good news is that they no longer have the conference's worst shorts; the bad news is that they now have the conference's worst jersey, thanks to a white-on-white chest insignia that will be impossible to read from more than a few inches away:


Grambling has moved from Russell Athletic to Adidas. The school's new uniforms were not yet available at publishing time, but here are the new practice uniforms:

Southern has moved from Russell Athletic to Under Armour. Oddly, the school's new set features three jerseys with three distinct tailoring cuts and collar styles:


Cal State Bakersfield has updated its gold uniform -- unfortunately, not for the better:

On the plus side, the Roadrunners' new floor design is a beauty, as long as you're OK with a blue court (additional info here):

West Coast

• Small change for Gonzaga, which has added "Zags" lettering to the waistband of the shorts:

In addition, the Zags will celebrate Native American Month by wearing their turquoise N7 uniforms for their season-opening game against Idaho State on Tuesday.

Portland recently changed its primary athletics logo to a pilot's wheel with an anchor in the center, which is prominently featured on a new black uniform:

Saint Mary's has changed its jersey collars from V-necks to scoop-necks, among other changes:

The Gaels also have a new court design this season:

San Francisco will be getting new green uniforms later this season, most likely after Christmas. Meanwhile, here are some photos of the school's new locker rooms.

Additional Notes

• Players wearing braces, casts or other rigid protective devices will now be able to cover those devices with padding.

• A bunch of schools will wear turquoise uniforms in November for Native American Heritage Month, as part of Nike's long-running N7 program.

Phew! Did we miss anything? Yeah, probably. If so, you know what to do.

Paul Lukas would love to have a Northern Iowa website called UNI Watch. If you like this column, you'll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook and sign up for his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, check out his Uni Watch merchandise, or just ask him a question? Contact him here.