March Madness Mystery: Why Do Schools not named UNC wear Jordan Brand gear?
Most readers will recognize the symbol above, Michael Jordan not only transformed basketball, but Jordan brand is one of the most recognizable logos in sportswear, it has propelled Nike to even greater heights, and represents the greatest of all time. Obviously, being Jordan’s alma mater, UNC has been wearing Jordan branded gear for as long as I can remember (at least for more than 6 years.) However, during championship week last week, I noticed something interesting, both Georgetown, and Marquette also had the famous Jumpman logo adorning their nike branded basketball jerseys. Personally, I find this to be a problem. Part of me think that yes, only UNC should wear Jordan brand since HE WENT THERE. However, the other half of me thinks there are more deserving candidates in Nike’s vast arsenal of contracts that should be wearing that famous Jumpman over the Hoyas and the Golden Eagles. Let’s do this tournament style, we will look at their all time resumes, and see who replaces these two, somewhat undeserving sides.
UNC needs no justification, Jordan graced them with his presence for four years, so obviously they get to honor him by wearing all Jordan brand uniforms.
NCAA Tournament appearances: 29
NCAA Final Four Appearances: 3 (1974, 1977, 2003)
NCAA Tournament Champions: 1 (1977)
Bo Ellis, Lawrence Frank, Maurice Lucas, Rick Majerus, Doc Rivers, Dwayne Wade,
Chances of Retaining Jordan Contract: 45%
Reason: They have definitely been a notable team, but Marquette just switched to Jordan this year from one of Nike’s other sub-brands, Converse, so it would be just as easy to give them the boot for one of the contenders
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 26
NCAA Final Four Appearances: 6 (1943, 1982, 1984, 1985, 2007)
NCAA Tournament Championships: 1 (1984)
Ruben Boumtje Boumtje (that one is just for fun) Patrick Ewing, Sleepy Floyd, Jeff Green, Roy Hibbert, Allen Iverson, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo,
Chances of retaining Jordan contract: 65%
Reason: Yes, Marquette has more tournament appearances, but Georgetown is instantly recognized as a basketball power, they have won the Big East Conference Tourney ten times, and won the Big East regular season title an additional four times. As you can see from the list of alumnus, these were very talented players when they hooped it up for the Hoyas. This definitely merits Georgetown worthy of the Jordan branding.
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 29
NCAA Final Four Appearances: 3 (1999, 2004, 2009)
NCAA Tournament Championships: 2 (1999, 2004)
Ray “Jesus Shuttlesworth” Allen, Richard Hamilton, Donyell Marshall, Emeka Okafor, Clifford Robinson, Corny Thompson
Chances of recieving Jordan Contract: 80%
UConn definitely falls into the category of Duke, UNC, UCLA and Kentucky in the top tier of college basketball. 2009 was the first time they reached the final four and DID NOT win the whole tournament. Legendary coach Jim Calhoun is currently in his 25th season on the Huskies’ sideline and will surely enter the HOF when he does retire. UConn has also played in the hyper-competitive Big East and won 28 regular season titles in addition to 7 conference tournament titles (most recently in 2011.) If any team not named North Carolina gets to wear Jordan, UConn should be mentioned in that argument.
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 44 (Current streak since 1992)
NCAA Final Four Appearances: 13 (Most Recently in 1998)
NCAA Tournament Championships: 7 (Last one in 1998)
Sam Bowie, Jamal “Monster” Mashburn, Tayshaun Prince, Pat Riley, Rajon Rondo, John Wall (amongst many others)
Chances of receiving Jordan contract: 99.9%
Reason: Yes, it seems after last year and with the new NBA rules, Kentucky is a one year vacation for the future John Wall’s and DeMarcus Cousins to get to March Madness and then get paid, but on paper, the facts speak for themselves. Kentucky is the most successful College Basketball team of ALL TIME, if anyone besides UNC should wear Jordan brand gear to honor his airness (I mean that Jumpman logo honors him wherever it is) it should be the Wildcats.
VERDICT: a resounding YES
So listen up Jordan brand and Nike execs, give Marquette the boot, and add UConn and Kentucky to the teams who should wear Jordan, altho IMHO, I think only UNC should wear it, but if anyone, make it those two schools. I’ll be back later this week with my picks for March Madness by Unis (at least the first two rounds.) – J