CINCINNATI - When the University of Cincinnati men's basketball team takes the court at the Big East Tournament this week in New York City and hopefully the NCAA Tournament, the squad will be donning new uniforms.
The university and footwear and apparel company announced Tuesday that the Bearcats were selected by adidas as one of three programs in the country to wear the new, ultra-lightweight adizero basketball uniforms throughout its postseason run.
Cincinnati will wear the new uniforms beginning Thursday when they play their first game in the Big East Tournament (March 6-10). UC will play at 2 p.m. Their opponent has yet to be determined but will be between Georgetown and/or Pittsburgh and St. John's. Whoever wins between Pittsburgh and St. John's then takes on Georgetown for a right to play UC. The Bearcats, who won 12 conference games for the first time since joining the Big East, earned a double bye for this year's tournament, also a school first.
Cincinnati's postseason uniforms feature a limited design, coloring and a new pixilated pattern instead of a traditional, heavier solid pattern. The new uniforms shed weight, add speed and are inspired by teamwork and working together to attack the court as a group, according to adidas. The amplified school colors pay homage to the high intensity of March Madness and the electrifying play during the NCAA Tournament.
"We are excited to be a part of an elite number of schools that adidas chose to promote on a national stage during March Madness," UC Director of Athletics Whit Babcock said. "While the unique uniform color scheme is temporary for the Bearcats, it certainly will draw attention and a younger demographic to our C-Paw logo and our energetic brand of basketball. The technology and new lightweight design of the uniforms is very impressive as well."
"It's a compliment to the growth of our program that Cincinnati gets to take part in this unveiling," UC head coach Mick Cronin said. "The postseason uniforms are something the players are really going to enjoy."
Adidas says the adizero basketball uniform is 40 percent lighter than previous uniforms and uses an unlined short to eliminate unnecessary weight and provide a more comfortable, closer fit with compression base layers. Teams will also sport the new adidas Team Crew basketball sock, which according to adidas, uses compression throughout the entire sock for added stability and CLIMALITE moisture wicking technology to reduce weight added by sweating.
"It's a smart idea to get the chance to play wearing a lighter jersey and it will bring a new look the Bearcats," UC sophomore guard Sean Kilpatrick said. "It gives us more recognition and shows that our hard work throughout the year is paying off. To be one of only three schools in the nation to wear these uniforms is unbelievable."
Adidas has been the official outfitter for UC Athletics since 2006. Prior to that, the men's basketball team was sponsored by Michael Jordan's line.
Other schools who will be wearing the new uniforms this postseason are fellow Big East member Louisville and Baylor from the Big 12.