Why Are the NCAA Basketballs So Orange This Year?

Some fans on social media are saying the ball appears to "glow" on the court

Amid all the chatter surrounding NCAA's March Madness tournament, there's one thing in particular taking over social media: The basketballs' bright orange color.

As first-round games begin, fans have begun asking about and commenting on the color of the basketballs being used, some saying they almost appear to "glow" on the court.

So are teams using a different ball than usual?

Last June, the National Sporting Goods Association announced that Wilson would be introducing a new NCAA championship ball, the Evo NXT, for the 2021-2022 season.

The Evo NXT provides an extra layer of grip and moisture management, as well as a softer feel, according to Wilson. The new basketball optimizes weight distribution, making it easier to shoot from long-range.

But why the orange color?

According to Wilson, the new "Electric Orange" color in the Evo NXT allows players and fans to easily track the ball on the court, making it less likely to lose sight of the ball in darker settings.

The NCAA does have rules over the ball's color and shape, however.

The basketball must be Pantone Matching System Orange 151, Red-Orange 173 or Brown 1535, as well as leather, according to the NCAA rulebook.

Additionally, the basketball must be spherical, with the circumference within a maximum of 30 inches and a minimum of 29.5 inches. The ball must weigh between 20 and 22 ounces.

This year's NCAA Men's Final Four Championship game ball is available on Wilson's website, for $94.95.

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