Did Pink Sneakers Help This College Basketball Team’s 14-Game Winning Streak?

Pink shoes have become collegiate baller Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman’s good luck charms, but last night proved that luck has run out when Villanova defeated Michigan 79-62 in the championship game of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, in San Antonio.

Call it superstition, but leading up to the game, Abdur-Rahkman’s pink kicks aligned with his team’s triumphant streak. In fact, during the Wolverines’ semifinal against Loyola-Chicago on Saturday night, Abdur-Rahkman wore hot-pink Jordan 32s along with his teammates in pink shoes, too: Duncan Robinson, Jaaron Simmons and C.J. Baird.

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman pink shoes
Michigan’s Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman drives against Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo (10).
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

“We call him Pink Shoes Hamm,” assistant coach Saddi Washington told ESPN of the pink shoes trend on the court. “Whatever works for those guys, we’re all for it.”

Final Four NCAA, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman ,
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and a teammate wearing pink shoes during during Saturday’s national semifinal.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

In a February game against Iowa when the whole team wore pink shoes to raise breast cancer awareness, it turned out to be the start of a 14-game winning streak that brought them to the national championship game against Villanova.

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman
Abdur-Rahkman on the court last month.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

C.J. Baird revealed that the Iowa game “set the tone” for the rest of the season and said, “I think a lot of people — myself included — look at that night even with the pink shoes as kind of symbolic of the turning point of the season.”

Meanwhile, Abdur-Rahkman started wearing pink shoes last season after needing a replacement pair. Reaching for his pink practice shoes for their game against Illinois, the 23-year-old ended up scoring 17 points. From there, he wore them against Purdue and in many games that followed.

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