Big Ten basketball jerseys have certainly gotten better over the years, and I would consider the Big Ten’s cream of the crop to be some of college basketball’s most elite looks. Even if most of the schools in the Big Ten are red and use block letters as their primary logos, the Big Ten really knows how to deliver a good-looking basketball jersey.
For this list, I decided to take my favorite look from each team instead of just doing typical home or away. The only requirement was that the team had to currently have that uniform in the team’s jersey rotation.
Big Ten Basketball Jerseys Ranked
I have nothing good to say about this jersey. On first glance, you may not understand what’s wrong with it as it doesn’t look terrible from afar. I hate the fact that the collar does not wrap all the way around and that the piping on the sleeves start at the top of the shoulder and end at the armpit. I don’t understand what designer thought this was a good idea.
My next gripe comes with the shorts. I think the idea of having two parallel lines streak across the sides and bottoms of the shorts is a cool idea, but I think it is executed poorly here. It feels very overbearing and is a little too thick for my liking. I find it weird, too, that it doesn’t wrap around to the back but only connects at the front.
I do enjoy having the Wisconsin “W” cut through the stripe pattern on the side, but I don’t understand why you would then include the same logo on the belt buckle. Whose idea was it to the outline the belt buckle logo for no apparent reason?
This Big Ten basketball jersey is just boring, plain and simple. I would say the font is the best thing this jersey has going for it, but the font isn’t very appealing to the eye to begin with. The black on the shorts seems very forced as it doesn’t blend with the overall look of the uniform at all.
Its hard to find the first thing that draws my attention on this Big Ten basketball jersey because the entire kit is just so bland. I love the use of the Maryland flag on the shorts, but that really is the only positive thing I have to say. I understand that Under Armour makes bad jerseys, but I don’t understand how these can be so boring.
I am a firm believer in “less is more” but in order to make that phrase applicable, you need to understand your strengths. Some programs, such as Duke and Kansas, aren’t expected to unveil flashy jerseys because those programs simple jerseys have become iconic due to tradition. The best thing Maryland basketball has going for it is its flag, so I don’t understand why its just being used as an accent feature.
This jersey has zero sense of direction, which is a shame considering how easy it would be to make this look stand out. The Minnesota football program does a phenomenal job at maintaining a sense of direction in all of its jersey sets, so why can’t that be done in basketball?
I don’t understand the obnoxiously large stripes streaking across the front of the shorts. It seems like the yellow piping on the number, stripes, and font all have different levels of thickness. If you are going to add yellow piping to everything, why not include it on the neck line?
It pains me to not have Northwestern higher on this list. Purple is one of my favorite color, and it is a very underutilized color in the sports world. Northwestern athletics normally does a pretty good job at utilizing its color scheme and brand assets very well together, but this look really missed the mark.
The biggest issue is the fact that Under Armour does not make good basketball jerseys. You can tell just by looking at this image that it looks cheap, especially when compared to Nike or Adidas. Most jerseys have a bold feature that makes it stand out even if in most cases it is just the school’s name stretched across the front. There is nothing special going on with this look from Northwestern.
Nebraska is a school that is very limited to the university’s branding. When your mascot is a “Cornhusker” and the school only uses red and white, your options are limited. I respect the basketball program’s attempt to stand out from other Nebraska programs by going all in on the unique “Huskers” word mark. This work mark is found all through the basketball program and is even the center court logo.
I think Nebraska is doing the best with what they were given, and I don’t really have any strong complaints regarding this look.
Iowa had the potentially to really knock these out of the park, but I feel they came up a little bit short. The Hawkeyes black and yellow is a dominate color scheme when used correctly. The jersey itself looks amazing with “Iowa” in all one solid color followed up by thick piping on the neck and shoulders.
My big issue with this look comes from the shorts; I don’t understand why they decided to use the color white on the shorts if they weren’t going to use it on the jersey itself. I understand that there is some white piping running up the side of the shorts and the jersey, but it just feels very off. If there was no white on this jersey, I think it would be one of the best Big Ten basketball jerseys.
7: Penn State
All of the Big Ten basketball jerseys from here on out utilize the “less is more” mindset. The best jerseys stay true to the university’s branding without trying to go over the top. Penn State is a very traditional school, and that can be seen in its jerseys. This is a very clean look by the Nittany Lions, and I don’t really have much more to say, which is a good thing.
You can never go wrong with a little black and gold. The Purdue wordmark shaped like the front of a train stretched across the chest is a staple of Purdue basketball at this point. Black and gold is an elite color combination, especially when utilized correctly. I can’t think of anything I would inheritably change about this look as it is doing its best with only using two muted colors.
Illinois has one of the more interesting color schemes in the Big Ten, and I think that is really on display with this jersey. Every aspect of this jersey feels perfectly balanced with “Fighting Illini” sandwiched over the players’ number taking center stage. I love that this jersey only uses blue as accent piece for the letters and piping as I think too much blue would have been overwhelming. It feels very traditional in approach but still feels relevant when compared to other Big Ten jerseys.
Indiana is one of the more historic college basketball programs, and its jerseys are no different. Its ranking on this list is certainly influenced by the team’s history, but how could it not be? While this jersey has had a few changes over the years due to new styles of jerseys, the overall Hoosier look remains relatively untouched. This look is not only an iconic Big Ten basketball jersey but a legendary college sports jersey as well.
3: Michigan state
The Spartans have some of the best athletic branding assets in all of college sports. This jersey utilizes all of the unique branding assets the school uses, such as the Michigan State font, the Greek spartan pattern, and the iconic Spartan helmet. All of these factors blended together make for one of the most unique and bold looking Big Ten basketball jerseys.
Though I personally despise the Michigan Wolverines, this jersey goes hard. It is extremely difficult to pull off an all yellow/maize look, but the Wolverines somehow made it work while making it feel timeless. There was no need to try to make any other part of the jersey stand out as the bold maize colorway is already flashy enough as is. If Michigan wore this for the next 100 years, I don’t think a single person would complain.
1: ohio state
This jersey truly feels like a work of art. It feels like a throwback jersey while still remaining new and modern. Every element of the jersey, all the way from the piping on the collar and sleeves to the throwback Buckeye block “O” on the shorts, work so seamlessly together. Everything is so perfectly balanced on this jersey that it becomes hard to point out a flaw. You immediately look at this jersey and know its THE Ohio State Buckeyes.