The Coolest (and Lamest) Looks in March Madness History


Once the Fab Five hit, it took basically an entire generation for the shorts to get hiked back up. As shorts got longer, hip-hop grabbed ahold of America, and personal image became a bigger part of sports more generally, college basketball mirrored many of the trends enveloping the country. All to say: you can’t talk about the marriage of basketball and hip-hop without mentioning GQ Style Hall of Famer Allen Iverson. It’s possible that no basketball player has ever been fresher than Iverson was in this particular Georgetown jersey with the Jordan 11 Concords on his feet.

Put it in the Louvre

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

One thing you’re definitely not going to see in this year’s tournaments are players wearing cutoff T-shirts under their jersey like AI did here. Same goes for the overwhelming amount of fabric Adam Morrison had poking out from his Gonzaga jersey during the mid-2000s.

Speaking of that era: we’ll go ahead and call that the peak of the baggy shorts mountain. Starting in 2003 with T.J. Ford’s Final Four fit and ending when the current Boston Celtics coach took athletic shorts to places they’ve never been (the ankle), there was a roughly seven-year stretch where everyone looked like this.

The 2007 Ohio State Buckeyes, a sight to behold.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Oregon’s Tajuan Porter and Aaron Brooks in 2007.

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

This was in 2010, the same year Mazzulla’s beloved The Town came out.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It’s all about optimization now, and whatever apparel company supplies the team’s uniform will handle the shorts as well as the athletic-fit undershirts. As long as we all agree to never, ever revert back to the sleeved jersey era (although Louisville did win a championship in them), everything will remain relatively easy on the eyes.

NCAA champion Peyton Siva, we’re sorry you had to wear this.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Presenting Obama with a sleeved jersey makes this a perfect 2013 time capsule.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

The women’s side has had its own share of March Madness style icons as well. While we’re talking sleeved jerseys, we should acknowledge that in 1982, the Louisiana Tech women’s team won the whole damn thing while wearing sleeved jerseys—that they left untucked! With collars! Powder blue and red is an absolutely gorgeous color scheme for any team playing any sport at any level, but wearing these bad boys while going 35-1 is in a category of its own.

George Tiedemann/Getty Images

George Tiedemann/Getty Images

That Mulkey you see wearing #20 and calling for the ball is in fact Kim Mulkey, the current LSU women’s coach who owns one of the more…interesting closets in the entire coaching universe. Her Tigers are a three-seed in this year’s tourney, and the further they advance, expect their coach’s outfits to become increasingly audacious.

A decade after the Lady Techies’ dominance—and at the same time the Fab Five were embracing the shaved head look that was all the rage at the time—Lisa Leslie was rocking the braids while leading the country in blocks and field goal percentage.



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