With March Madness upon us, the dominance of the powerhouse schools and the upsets of the unknowns would follow. The first two rounds have been exciting with a few upsets and strong showings. In a brief recap, UCLA is still dancing, Villanova became the first number one to fall, and number 2 ranked Virginia collapsed shortly after. We wanted to highlight a few stories from around the tournament.
1. From the Start
Sporting News put together an entire bracket and broke down the sportswear endorsement of each of the schools in the tournament. Obviously Nike (including Jordan Brand) led the charge with 46/66 schools. adidas followed with 11, Under Armour with 6, and Russell Athletic topped it off with only 3.
To put Nike's dominance in perspective, last season, three of the Final Four schools donned the Swoosh. In NCAAF's first Playoff, all four teams were sponsored by Nike.
2. UAB's Mismatched Kicks
The UAB team became the first team bust brackets by defeating the 3rd ranked Iowa St. Cyclones. On top of that, they did so in fashionable way. Each player had donned a green and grey mismatch pair of Nikes. Their mismatched kicks stirred a reaction and brought positive attention to the cause they were fighting for.
"For those watching, you may have noticed the players wearing different colored shoes. They team did so with good intentions. By wearing the mismatched shoes, they team was able to raise awareness for the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama."
Unfortunately, they were knocked out by UCLA who upset their first round matchup as well.
3. Under Armour Well Represented & Making a Name
Notre Dame is showing the luck of the Irish even with St. Patrick's Day ending nearly a week ago. Under Armour looks to have a Pot'O'Gold with the Irishmen rocking Stephen Curry's new signature, the Curry 1s. Maryland is currently still dancing but they have a 5:40 match-up with West Virginia for a spot in the Sweet 16. The other Universities repping UA saw their dreams cut short. Nonetheless, in a league where adidas and Nike dominates, it's great to see the upcoming brand do well on the NBA and NCAA level.