Shorts on backward and a shoe ‘blowing out’: Wardrobe issues add even more fun to March Madness

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is now in full swing, and while the play on the court remains the main story, two wardrobe issues in different tournament games added an extra layer of fun on Thursday.

A.J. Hoggard, a senior guard for the Michigan State Spartans, committed the first wardrobe foul of the day when he played the first several minutes of the day’s opening matchup between Michigan State and Mississippi State with his uniform shorts on backward.

As the Spartans were wearing green uniforms marked with a Greek key pattern on one side and just the Spartan logo on the other, the Greek key pattern should have extended all along the right side of Hoggard’s body. But for a little while, that wasn’t the case, and several media outlets and fans with a sharp eye made note of his mistake on social media.

In the image below, sophomore guard Tre Holloman, circled in blue, has his uniform on the correct way. Hoggard, whose shorts are circled in red, does not.

Luckily, teammate Steven Izzo, son of legendary MSU head coach Tom Izzo, reportedly noticed and apprised Hoggard of the issue during a timeout. “I’m definitely going viral for that,” Hoggard replied, according to MLive MSU beat writer Kyle Austin.

The backward shorts may have been good luck as the Spartans got out to an early 5-0 lead and never really looked back. The Bulldogs made some big shots in key moments, threatening to stage a comeback for about three-quarters of the game before going cold from the floor.

The Spartans held such a comfortable lead with one minute to play in the game that Steven Izzo and other team benchwarmers substituted in for the unforgettable chance at some tournament playing time. During one especially special moment for Spartan fans, Izzo dished a pass to Davis Smith, son of Steve Smith, one of the best shooters in MSU history. As the shot clock was about to expire, Smith tossed up a shot from well behind the arc — and hit nothing but net.

The Spartans ultimately defeated the Bulldogs, 69-51, and will face North Carolina, the top seed in the West region, on Saturday. Highlights from the MSU-MSU matchup can be seen below:

The other wardrobe issue on Thursday involved a referee for the Creighton-Akron game in the Midwest region. Early in the second half, referee Kelly Pfeifer suddenly needed an assist from back-up official Adam Flore after “blowing out” one of his shoes.

During a stoppage in play, Pfeifer walked over to Flore, who happens to wear the same size as Pfeifer. Pfeifer initially wanted to borrow just one of Flore’s shoes, but as the two men were wearing different brands, he had to borrow both and slip them on quickly so that he could return to his officiating duties.

The shoe swap was caught on camera:

The Creighton Bluejays easily sailed passed the Akron Zips, 77-60. The Bluejays will now take on the Oregon Ducks, who have played some of their best basketball in the last week or so, upsetting the Arizona Wildcats and then besting the Colorado Buffaloes to clinch the Pac-12 Tournament championship and an automatic bid to the Big Dance.

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