When the field of 68 is unveiled on Selection Sunday, everyone immediately begins looking at the best matchups, who got snubbed, who’s going to win it all, who has the easiest road to the Final Four. That all makes for great fodder on the Interweb but what about the lighthearted nature of the tournament?
Who has the best (Syracuse’s Otto the Orange) or most obscure mascot (Manhattan Jaspers)? Who has the best color schemed uniforms (Michigan) or the worst (Albany)? There is one thing that each school brings to the proverbial table come tournament time — colors.
Whether it be in the stands or on the bench, each school and their fan base is visibly recognizable by the colors they wear. You’ll see a sea of orange when the Syracuse Orange or Tennessee Volunteers play. You’re likely to see masses of burnt orange when the Texas Longhorns are relevant or waves of red when the Louisville Cardinals or Nebraska Cornhuskers play. Tides of blue overtake the arena when the Duke Blue Devils or Kentucky Wildcats are in action. Schools have the occasional white-out or black-out game but a majority of the time you’ll see one color prominently displayed by fans, both at home and away games. They’re often said to, “Bleed blue,” or “Bleed orange.” (Everyone bleeds red, but that’s besides the point.)
The NCAA Tournament is the biggest stage in college basketball and a gives supporters of relatively unknown yet successful schools a chance to shine (we’re looking at you Stephen F. Austin and Mercer Bears fans). So we’re not talking about games or practice, we’re talking about colors.
Red, blue, green, orange, yellow, gold, silver, black, brown, purple — all of these colors and more are represented in this year’s tournament. Without further ado, here’s a breakdown of the 2014 NCAA Tournament by color. All records are through the third round.