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College Basketball Courts Too Good To Be Played On
With the NCAA college basketball March Madness starting this week, lets take a step back and look at the hardwood court designs that marveled, and boggled, in-house fans and television audiences across the country.

oregonfloor.jpeg
Courtesy of GoDucks.com

Oregon: Since opening in 2011, Matthew Knight Arena has become one of the most polarizing arenas in college basketball for its multi-colored basketball court design. Look closely around the rim of Kilkenny Floor and you can see the outline of a forest stretching toward the middle of the court. This court is steeped in symbolism. Court designer Tinker Hatfield says he envisioned the court as a tribute to the “Tall Firs”—the nickname of the 1939 Oregon basketball team that won the National Championship.

Northwestern University stained basketball floor
Courtesy of Northwestern University

Northwestern: In 2011, Northwestern left it up to the fans to decide the look of Welsh-Ryan Arena’s new basketball court design. The options included a variety of different logos and color schemes, including one all-purple court design that had many fans disgusted. Instead fans chose a less in-your-face design that includes a faded purple paint-job inside the three-point arc and around the baseline.

Florida International University: Designed to pay homage to FIU’s Miami roots and attract recruits, FIU’s court redesign resembled a wave crashing onto a sandy beach. Did the new court make the team competitive after moving into the tougher Conference USA? They went 15-16, putting them 10th in the conference.

George Washington University: Nestled in the heart of Washington D.C., George Washington University’s new Tex Silverman Court in the Charles E. Smith Center features a light court design with images of the United States Capitol, The White House and the Washington Monument along one sideline.

UCF Court1.png
Courtesy of UCF Athletics

University of Central Florida: While Northwestern fans decided against an all-purple court design for the Wildcats, the UCF basketball program didn’t get the memo. The summer before 2013-14 season began, the Wildcats announced their court would be all black.

ICARDO CENTER BLUE FLOOR FIRST GAME.png
Courtesy CSU-Bakersfield Athletics

Cal State Bakersfield: Cal State Bakersfield became the first basketball team to use an all-blue court design with an image of their mascot, a roadrunner, installed at center court.

longbeach.jpg
Courtesy of Long Beach State Athletics

Long Beach State University: Like FIU, Long Beach State also went with a beach theme when it redesigned its court in 2012. Playing off the university’s nickname, “The Beach,” Long Beach’s design features four palm trees with fronds stretching across the width of the court.

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Matt Cashore, courtesy of University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame: One of the simpler court designs when compared to many others on this list, Notre Dame elected to utilize the two-tone court design to place a large three-leaf clover as the focal point in the center of the court. The court also features lighter paneling inside the three-point arc.

Memphis University: Nearly 6,000 votes were cast to decide the court’s new look for the 2013-14 season. The result? The floor now depicts the Memphis skyline and the iconic Memphis & Arkansas Bridge that spans the Mississippi River.

jamesmadisonu.jpg
Courtesy James Madison University

James Madison University: Like Northwestern and Memphis, James Madison University decided to redesign their court through referendum. After whittling 65 design submissions down to 10, fans voted on a court floor that featured two identical images of the school’s mascot, Duke Dog, positioned opposite of one another in the court corners.

EventCenterfloorvsSDSU.jpg
Courtesy of San Jose State University

San Jose State University: In one of the more bizarre court designs in college basketball, San Jose State chose to put five enormous Spartans (the school mascot) across the sideline of the court.
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