The Jacksonville men’s basketball program will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its lone national championship game appearance with throwback uniforms against Lipscomb on Thursday night (7 p.m. on ESPN3).
The 1969-70 Dolphins posted a 27-2 record, knocking off four ranked opponents on their way to the NCAA Tournament final, where they fell to three-time defending champion UCLA. That Final Four, which also included New Mexico State and St. Bonaventure, remains to this day the only one to feature three programs commonly referred to as mid-majors.
“To think of the things they accomplished, without the 3-point shot, without the shot clock, without being able to dunk, It’s unbelievable,”head coach Tony Jasick said. “It’s certainly something that the kids on this team are aware of once they visit Swisher Gym for the first time and see the banner.”
Jacksonville’s throwback uniforms are not an exact replica of what the team wore during that magical run but retains the distinctive inverted-arched wordmark under the numbers — though the kerning is a bit different than the original design and the numbers are a custom font instead of the original block font.
The Dolphins also took some liberties with the shorts design, with truncated trim replacing the wishbone-style stripe used in the original. Players on the 1969-70 team, such as Hall of Famer Artis Gilmore, wore a yellow belt instead of the drawstrings used today, so that striping pattern has been carried over to the waistband, as well.
Another minor difference — as shown in the video posted above — is the 1969-70 team wore their last names on the back of the jersey, while the current team does not, so the throwback uniforms are nameless, too.
Jacksonville choose this specific date as a nod to the team’s historic upset of No. 8 Florida State on Feb. 18, 1970, that avenged a loss to the Seminoles earlier that season and sparked the improbable tournament run.
Check out more photos of the Dolphins’ throwback uniforms below:
Photos via @JAX_MBB on Twitter.