With the unveiling of the Nike Platinum jerseys yesterday, it got me thinking back to some of the other alternate jerseys that Kentucky has worn over the years. Some were better than others, but it’s worth taking a look back to see a little of the history when the Cats stray from their more traditional uniforms. Here are a few of them:
Of course, any list of UK’s alternate unis must begin with the denim. Depending on who you ask, they’re either the best or worst uniforms the Cats have ever worn. They’ve been ranked the ugliest uniforms in all of sports by people outside the Commonwealth, but they hold a special place in the hearts of UK fans because they were a part of one of the greatest seasons in the Big Blue’s history. Kentucky broke them out midway through the 1996 season and rolled all the way to the national championship. Although our hopes of seeing them make a special appearance for Jorts’ senior day last year were dashed, they still are the most memorable uniforms in Kentucky lore.
The Black Jerseys:
Arguably the best looking alternates Kentucky ever wore came to be under unfortunate circumstances, as the black uniforms of 2008 were originally worn in remembrance of the late Bill Keightley. The Cats first wore them for a visit from Mississippi Valley State, who was coached by one of The Unforgettables, Sean Woods. All of the jerseys bore Keightley’s name on the back to honor Mr. Wildcat, and in addition to being a fitting memorial they were also just flat out cool. A little of the luster of them was lost, however, when the Cats wore them again in the SEC tournament against LSU, a loss that sealed their trip to the NIT.
I’m cheating a little bit here because the throwback uniforms that Kentucky wore late in the 2006 season were part of a conference-wide throwback movement, but I like them so they make the list. They were reminiscent of the 1978 title team, and the Cats wore them for the last few weeks of the season and the SEC tournament before switching back for the big dance. Kentucky was only 5-3 in the uniforms, but they were still cool and I wouldn’t mind seeing the Cats don some more throwbacks in the future. Minus any short shorts, of course.
The Silver ones:
And finally, these. The silver uniforms were created to mark the 100th anniversary of Kentucky basketball and were supposed to be used as an alternate periodically throughout the 2002-03 season. But, after the Cats lost the first game in them to Michigan State, they went into the closet and were never heard from again. That was probably good on two accounts, as the uniforms were ugly anyway and that year’s team recovered to become one of the best in recent memory. They won 26 straight games, went undefeated through the SEC season and tournament, and were the #1 overall seed in the NCAAs before eventually falling in the Elite Eight. I hate Dwyane Wade.
I think you’ve met these, already.
Now that we’ve reacquainted ourselves with some of the alternate uniforms of the past, which ones do you think were the best?