In an unpredictable college basketball season highlighted by stunning upsets among the nation's top teams, unconventional fashion from some of the nation's tradition-rich programs has suddenly become one of the most intriguing subplots of March Madness.
Adidas unveiled its new, eye-catching uniforms Thursday that six teams -- UCLA, Louisville, Baylor, Kansas, Notre Dame and Cincinnati -- will wear in postseason play, starting in conference tournaments. The camouflage-patterned shorts and bright-colored jerseys became a trending topic on social media when Adidas released photos. The designs for UCLA, Louisville and Baylor feature sleeves similar to ones the NBA's Golden State Warriors wore in a Feb.22 game. The Notre Dame and Louisville women's teams also will wear the gear.
Adidas director of sports
marketing Chris McGuire said the uniforms would help "players stand out during college
basketball's biggest moments."
Adidas released a statement that said the uniforms' innovative pattern, created by several different designers
, were made "with the intent to be noticed."
The uniforms were met with mixed reviews from athletes and coaches alike Thursday.
"I love them. Well, I signed off on them. Our players never saw them," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said of his team's mint green uniforms during the Big East coaches teleconference Thursday. "They came off the practice floor (on Wednesday), and we had two mannequins in the players lounge, and they're still buzzing about it."
A petition started by Kansas fans on the White House's website to not allow the uniforms was removed Thursday afternoon for violating the site's terms of participation.
Kansas senior guard Elijah Johnson said of his team's new attire in a weekly news conference, "I don't think too much of them. They are jerseys at the end of the day. You can't go out there with no clothes on."
"I like them," Baylor recruit Dominic Woodson said of the Bears' Adidas uniforms. "They're really nice. Just something new that nobody has seen yet."
This isn't the first time unique uniforms have been on display this or recent seasons. Ohio State, Florida, Georgetown, Marquette, Michigan State and Connecticut wore camouflage-tinted uniforms in opening-season games held at military installations. There also has been controversy. The NCAA denied Akron's attempt to put Twitter handles on the back of jerseys for a marketing ploy. Louisville wore bright, infrared uniforms in last year's NCAA tournament.
The uniforms are made from 60% recycled materials and are constructed to dry quickly and move heat and moisture away from the body.
Said Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin, "I'm sure the traditionalists out there are really, really struggling looking at those uniforms."