For many, the month of March means one thing -- March Madness. Sports fans go wild for these three weeks in spring, when they choose their brackets and watch as the 68 teams battle it out for the 2012 NCAA Tournament championship.
For those of us who are sports-illiterate (namely those who care more about the end of Fashion Month as opposed to the start of March Madness), March means little more than floral prints and trench coats. But, at a closer glance, March Madness does offer something for the fashion folk. The diverse collection of uniforms that will be on display during the 2012 NCAA Tournament bare decidedly different trends, some of which even adopt popular styles for Spring 2012.
There is even some fashion history to be learned.
Uniforms have been worn by players since the beginning of organized sports. Sports uniforms as we know of them today originated in the early 20th century, according to eHow writer Maxwell Wallace. Early baseball's New York Knickerbockers are widely credited with wearing the first sports uniforms on record in the United States. These athletes first wore the ensemble in 1849. European football clubs have been wearing various uniform designs since the late 1800s, wrote Wallace.
Let us take a look at the 2012 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight based solely on the best looking uniforms this year.
For the top two uniforms of the South region, we have Iowa State and Baylor. The Iowa State Cyclones uniform is a crimson red with bright orange lettering. Baylor's uniform for the 2012 NCAA Tournament is a bold black and highlighter yellow combination. The shorts are patterned with streaks of yellow that blend into ombre.
Spring 2012 runways were electrified with neon this season. Pink, yellow, lime and tangerine were each amped up 100 watts for an eye-popping look. Hence, Baylor beats out Iowa State for the best uniform of the region with a futuristic twist on a modern trend.
The East's top two teams both flaunt a huge trend for spring - bright, solid colors. Syracuse's orange and Florida State's burgundy play off styles seen on the Spring 2012 runways of fashion houses like J.Crew, Brooks Brothers and Tommy Hilfiger.
We chose Syracuse as the winner of the East region. The orange uniform is simple yet noticeable and perfect for spring. Tommy Hilfiger matched his orange pieces for Spring with red, navy, green and purple.
It came down to Long Island University (LIU) and Marquette for the top two of the West. LIU's black and white uniform is a timeless pairing; while Marquette's lemon yellow cannot help but garner attention. Marquette's also features blue, navy and yellow striped detailing on the shoulders, ribs and hips.
Ultimately, LIU's classic black and white won out. There is nothing sharper than this color combination. Whether it is a men's tuxedo or the black and white ensembles from Olivier Theysken's Spring 2012 Theory collection, this is a look that will never go out of style.
The University of North Carolina (UNC) and Kansas made it to the final best-uniform of the Midwest. UNC is renowned for its powder blue and white uniforms while Kansas stands out with its crisp, Americana uniforms of red, white and blue.
The choice for the Midwest was obvious. UNC has the hands-down best uniform of the region. Powder blue and white is an enduring color combination, one that was quite popular in the 60s and 70s. A pastel palette, reminiscent of a bowl of Jordan Almonds, screams springtime. That is why UNC's baby blue and ivory is hard to beat. Even Dwayne Wade rocked the color combo with a powder blue blazer, white button down, jeans and sneakers.
Check out photos of the Elite Eight of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, plus our final best uniform bracket. Which team is your pick for best uniform of the NCAA Tournament? Leave your feedback in the comments section below.