The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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November 17, 2013

Eyes on the ball? 10 of the craziest college basketball courts

Feast your eyes -- or avert them, depending on your taste in unconventional basketball court designs. With college hoops season right around the corner, we take a look at some of the most unusual basketball floors around the country.

Austin Peay

Bright red all over? Check. Super creepy logo? Check. The Governors’ home court is harder on the eyes than the team that plays on it, and that’s saying something: Austin Peay finished 9-23 last season.

Baylor

It’s bad enough that the Bears seem to be engaged with Oregon in a battle to see whose uniforms are the most fluorescent. But Baylor’s home court, with its two-toned theme and darker wood inside the 3-point lines, is just as outlandish as its uniforms.

Boise State

Not content to stop with its football field, Boise State rolled out an equally garish design for its basketball court to herald the school’s move to the Mountain West Conference.

Cal State Bakersfield

Where to begin? The mutant roadrunner logo would be distracting enough if the floor at the Icardo Center wasn’t almost entirely deep blue. We’ve found college basketball’s answer to Boise State’s “Smurf Turf.”

Colorado State

A pair of ram’s horns, in a darker shade than the rest of the court, make it look like the center court circle at Moby Arena is wearing the horns. All in all, it’s a design that takes the phrase “Grab life by the horns” a little too seriously.

Idaho State

The school hasn’t made an NCAA Tournament appearance since 1987, so apparently it’s trying to garner attention in another way — with a court design heavy on emphasizing its “Bengals” nickname. Perhaps the most outlandish element is the free throw lanes, which are painted to look like the uniforms of the NFL team with the same name.

James Madison

Last year the Dukes made their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in nearly two decades. So how did they celebrate? By updating the court to feature two massive “Duke Dog” mascot logos, each with a crown on its head.

Northwestern

Alternating between a deep purple and a lighter violet, the floor at Welsh-Ryan Arena is crazy in an eye-catching good way. It’s almost enough to make Wildcat fans forget that their men’s basketball team remains the only program from a so-called “power conference” that has never made the NCAA Tournament.

Oregon

Would you expect anything less from an athletics program featuring football uniforms that look like a highlighter factory just exploded? The court at Matthew Knight Arena is framed on all sides by a forest of brown-and-tan fir trees, an homage to the school's 1939 national title team nicknamed "The Tall Firs." But the rest of the floor looks like one of those stuffed bear area rugs.

Texas A&M

Memo to the Aggies: The checkerboard parquet doesn’t work. The oversized outline of the state of Texas is a pale imitation of the rival Longhorns’ floor at the Erwin Center. And the ridiculously oversized logo does nothing to help improve the appearance of the floor at Reed Arena.

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