March Madness is almost here on the 3rd month of the year. In a total non-coincidence, Jordan Brand schools like North Carolina and Michigan received player exclusives of the Air Jordan 31 to wear on the court during their runs to the Final Four along with special editions of the Air Jordan 13. Looks like 3 (and 1 if you really think about it) is the magic number for these schools that represent the Jumpman in 2017.
For years now, North Carolina has been the beneficiary of having the hottest Jordan player exclusives, rivaling only Oregon – because Tinker Hatfield and Nike – for the most desired PEs in all the land. But longtime Jordan partners Marquette, Georgetown, and Cal are no slouches in that department and now Michigan is gaining ground on that front as well. Assuming all five teams make the NCAA tournament (both men’s and women’s teams will be rocking Js), this could be a memorable March Madness for Jordan Brand.
But not all player exclusives are created equal and we’re power ranking the five schools based on how memorable their respective Air Jordan Low kicks are heading into the Big Dance.
Just Happy To Make It To 64: Cal
The funny thing is that Cal was Michigan before Michigan became a Jordan Brand school. What I mean by that is that the we’ve seen blue and yellow on Jordans for quite some time now and they were always associated with the Golden Bears. But because the Wolverines are the new hotness, they get all the attention and the more exciting PEs. Not that sneakerheads wouldn’t trade their Olympic 5s that they found at the Nike Outlet Store for a pair of Cal 13 Lows, but it seems a little on the safe side.
Barely Surviving The First Weekend: Georgetown
You could make the argument that out all of the kicks featured here today, the 13 Low Georgetown is the one that would be a major hit at retail. The colors fit in line with what sneakerheads are looking for these days and if you squint hard enough, they could pass as Flint 13s to somebody who’s no paying attention. But just like Cal, their 31 counterpart isn’t exactly blowing anybody’s mind unless you have a Georgetown Starter Jacket from back in the days.
Sweet 16 Sleeper: Marquette
Jimmy Butler’s (and former Jordan Brand athlete Dwyane Wade) alma matter must surely be proud of their team and what they’ve accomplished through the years and netting a Jordan Brand deal is a perk so few schools have. The result are some of the most unique PEs out there, as evidenced by the 31 Low that features that Marquette logo in the back and 13 Low that features a special overlay that uses all of the school’s colors.
Final Four Bound: Michigan
Michigan getting Jordans is a little like when they had the Fab Five. Strong out of the gate, the team was always a threat to win the big one every year they were all together, but something would always come up that would prevent them from achieving their goal. In this case, both the Air Jordan XXX1 Low Michigan and the 13 Low PE are great, but just not enough to beat the eventual champs. It’s like 1993 all over again….
National Champs: North Carolina
When your list of alumni includes Michael Jordan, it’s going to be hard to beat them when it comes to sneakers. Between the history, the coolness of Carolina Blue, and how well the Air Jordan XXX1 Low and the 13 Low PE lends themselves well to the argyle style, no school is beating the Tar Heels. Except maybe some school out West should they decide to bring their heat to the dance…
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