March 29, 2012 BY Aaron Kr.
The field of 32 capable contenders in our March Madness Non-OG Air Jordan Tournament has been whittled down to the Final Four, leaving the remaining competitors to fight it out to determine who is truly the best of the best with the 2012 crown still up for grabs. When weighing the popularity of OG Air Jordan models, it’s a little more clear cut which are the top dogs, but with the non-original colorways, things are fairly open to debate and personal opinions, making sure that the eventual outcome should be interesting to say the least. Now that four shoes have made it all the way through their respective regions, it’s time to see once and for all which shoe is the king of them all. As you know, the results will be in your hands, so make sure to get your votes in before Sunday night at 11:59pm EST, and check back Monday for the announcement of our Sneaker News March Madness Non-OG Air Jordan Tournament finalists!
FINAL FOUR ROUND VOTING
FINAL FOUR MATCH-UP #1
WEST  Air Jordan XI ‘Cool Grey’ vs. SOUTHWEST  Air Jordan V ‘Raging Bull’
WEST  Air Jordan XI ‘Cool Grey’ – You shouldn’t be surprised that an Air Jordan XI is back in the Final Four. That particular model is not only a perennial contender, but the overall favorite to win, and despite the major hoopla over the recent Air Jordan XI releases, it is still considered to be one of the greatest sneakers of all-time. The ‘Cool Grey’ serves as the representative for the sneaker proudly boasting patent leather and thick-roped laces, and even before the 2010 re-issue, the Air Jordan XI ‘Cool Grey’ was one of the most coveted and celebrated non-OG Air Jordans in history. It spawned an impressive lineage of Cool Grey offspring in the Air Jordan III, IV, and IX – all of which were present in this year’s tournament.
SOUTHWEST  Air Jordan V ‘Raging Bull’ –
Of the thirty-two colorways of the March Madness Non-OG Air Jordan Tournament, just three of them bear any resemblance to the iconic Chicago Bulls colorway. Such a lack of representation didn’t equate to a lack of success, as the Air Jordan V in the tonal red suede ‘Raging Bull’ took down two ‘Cool Grey’ Retros as well as the #1 ranked Air Jordan VI ‘Olympic’ in the Southwest Regional Finals to earn a trip to the Final Four. The Air Jordan V ‘Raging Bull’ released just three years ago as part of the Toro Bravo Pack; is is still fresh enough in our memories to take down the highly-favored Air Jordan XI ‘Cool Grey’?
FINAL FOUR MATCH-UP #2
EAST  Air Jordan V ‘Laney’ vs. SOUTHEAST  Air Jordan VI ‘DMP’
EAST  Air Jordan V ‘Laney’ – Can a sneaker that released twelve years ago still remains strong in our memories and bang with the young guns? The Air Jordan V ‘Laney’ was originally released in 2000 as one of the first ever Retro+ colorways of the Air Jordan legacy; the Varsity Royal/Varsity Maize combination was a throwback to Michael’s basketball days at Laney High School, where he was actually cut from the basketball team at one point. It’s not surprising that Michael fought back and began the blaze a trail of glory that we are in awe of today, but can this historically significant Air Jordan Retro be deemed the greatest Non-OG of all time?
SOUTHEAST  Air Jordan VI ‘DMP’ – On June 12th, 1991, Michael Jordan celebrated his first ever NBA Championship, scoring 30 points and dishing out 10 assists en route to a series win over the Los Angeles Lakers in a mere five games. That glorious day was undoubtedly one of Michael career-defining moments as it served as the bookend of a three-peat of Championships, part of a string of six total trophy-winning victories. Released as part of the Defining Moments Package in 2006 – the first ever two-pair Pack release – the Air Jordan VI was colored up in a Black/Gold colorway fit for a king. It celebrated another Defining Moment in 2012 as it defeated the Air Jordan IV ‘UNDFTD’ in the Southeast Regional Finals to achieve Final Four status, but is there another victory in the books?