The final four is officially upon us. A #9 seed, two #5 seeds, and a #4 seed. Not what everyone predicted! Three of the teams that will take over Houston next weekend come from sunny beach corners of the country. The other comes from the raw Northeast. Florida Atlantic will take on San Diego State in the first game on Saturday. About two hours and forty minutes later, Miami will play UConn. This year’s matchups not only include unlikely teams, they also four very different uniform designs. In ranking the final four uniforms, we took a close look at the unique details each combination entails.
Florida Atlantic and Miami will be the away teams, which historically means they will be sporting the color threads. San Diego State and UConn would then wear white. In terms of school colors, we have three that rock a vibrant design and one that is more traditional. Florida Atlantic, San Diego State and Miami have uniform accents that help make the colors pop. They contain custom aesthetics that represent the school nickname thematically. While UConn’s navy, red, and white layout goes for classic look.
Before we get to our final rankings, let’s break down what we’ve seen so far and what is expected to worn on Saturday night.
Florida Atlantic has been the home and away team so far in their journey to cut down nests. This has resulted in three different uniform combinations. The Owls wore the road reds in game one vs. Memphis. They were the home team in game two vs. FDU, so this was their one game in white. As a big underdog vs. Tennessee in game three, they opted for their alternate threads, which is a navy uniform displaying “Owls” in a cursive font across the front. Finally, this past weekend, we saw FAU go back to their more common red away team look. What’s most unique about this uniform is that the last name is printed across the lower back (below the numbers) as opposed to across the shoulders. Florida Atlantic is an Adidas school.
San Diego State has surfed through the tournament with two different looks. As the home team vs. Charleston, Furman, and Creighton they sported their home whites. It’s a standard home design with “San Diego State” printed in black across the chest. This is complemented by red numerals and the school’s strong logo stamped on the lower right trim of the shorts. SDSU knocked off the South region’s #1 seed in Alabama Friday night. This was the one time they were the road warriors and wore their black uniforms. The difference is that the primary black has “Aztecs” printed across the chest. There is no white in this uniform. It’s all black with red accenting. San Diego State is a Jordan-brand school.
Miami, just like their fellow Floridians FAU, has worn three different uniform options in the 2023 tournament. All three are different from each other. They tipped off wearing white with “Canes” spelled out. This is accented by green and orange ribboning throughout the top and bottoms. The Hurricanes then went with their road “Miami” greens in game two vs. Indiana. This is where things get interesting. In the next two games, Miami would defeat the #1 seed in Houston and #2 seed Texas. Both games saw Miami opting for their alternate black option. This has the infamous “U” logo on the tank and shorts. The back of the shorts look like a school color hurricane – with bold waves of green and orange. It’s a pattern unlike any other short we’ve seen in this year’s March Madness. Miami is also an Adidas school.
UConn is the highest remaining seed left in the tournament as the #4. However, their quest to get to Houston also includes a mix of home white and road navy. Their path has been – white, white, white, for the first three rounds. Then, the road navy option vs. Gonzaga in the elite eight. Although, you could have easily confused the two teams given their almost identical school colors. In their 100 + year history (with four tournament championships), UConn has not strayed much from their classic uniform look over the years. They’ve simply varied the “UCONN” vs. “Connecticut” print. The Husky logo on the side of the shorts is such a powerful touch. UConn is a Nike school.
The Final Fit
Typically, in the NCAA men’s tournament, we see a team sport one uniform option all the way through. We may see a team always in their home whites due to being the higher seed. Or a school will can go a more superstitious route and wear a color like maze each game because it is flexible enough to serve as a home or away option.
The 2023 tournament has presented us with some unique color combinations without consistency. To complete a ranking of the final four uniforms here, we assume San Diego State and UConn will be in white as the home teams.