The top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers are going to add a little bounce to their step with some new Nike sneakers for the NCAA tournament. Matthew Althoff, the UVA Director of Equipment Room Operations, posted these beauties to the UVA Equipment Twitter account:
The top left is the new Kobe A.D., with the two on the right being the Kyrie 4s. The bottom left shoe is one of the PG 2s (Paul George).
Nike usually outfits their best teams with sneakers for March and the NCAA tournament, with their website currently housing tournament gear for Virginia, UNC, MSU, Kentucky, Ohio State, Duke, Michigan, Arizona, Gonzaga, and Villanova.
As the No. 1 overall seed, Nike is making sure the Hoos look sharp as they attempt to return to the Final Four for the first time since 1984 and win the program’s first national championship. Now that DeAndre Hunter is out for the rest of the season with a wrist injury, some experts have started to turn on Virginia. Somehow, they’ll be able to pick up the mantle of the underdog, and try and prove they’re still the real deal.
Whatever you do though, don’t mess with the equipment managers. Althoff was one of the first to climb the ladder and cut down the nets after the ACC tournament title in Brooklyn, something that’s important to Coach Bennett and his staff.
“You want to see me get really mad or really angry,” Bennett said on this week’s teleconference, “...just go ahead and disrespect some of our managers, that’s where I’ll probably lose it. They’re the true servants of our program.”
Virginia kicks off play in the NCAA tournament on Friday at 9:20 pm on TNT against 16 seed UMBC.
UPDATE: On Wednesday, the Men’s Basketball Twitter account released a short vid showing all the swag the boys will get as they depart for the NCAA Tournament. Oh to be a D1 athlete.