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Every college basketball season, thousands of dunks are thrown down, but they are not all created equal. You have your basic dunks. Then you have the highlight-reel dunk. Some are pure finesse, others brute force. In the end, the result is generally hundreds (perhaps thousands) of screaming fans and perhaps a spot on SportsCenter.
USA TODAY Sports breaks down 10 dunks that left your jaws on the floor.
10. C.J. Fair posterizes Otto Porter (March 15):.
Syracuse got the best of rival Georgetown in the Big East tournament, outlasting the Hoyas 58-55 in overtime. And, well, Syracuse’s Fair got the best of Big East Player of the Year Porter with two minutes remaining in overtime.
Grade: A-. Syracuse-Georgetown clashes are always intense. This one was could be a Big East tournament poster.
Best part: It’s Georgetown vs. Syracuse.
9. Cody Zeller schools Mitch McGary (Feb. 2).
Zeller out-maneuvers McGary for the put-back slam in Indiana’s 81-73 win over Michigan.
Grade: A-. Zeller does just about everything right on this play, and for good measures he throws it down with authority.
Best part: Zeller’s dad’s face when they first cut to him. He’s supposedly happy for the play his son just made, but it looks like he’s making an aggressive yawn-scream thing.
8. Jared Berggren destroys Trey Burke (Feb. 9).
Berggren dunks ferociously on player of the year candidate Trey Burke during Wisconsin’s 65-62 OT win.
Grade: A-. Berggren turns the corner on Mitch McGary and absolutely destroys Trey Burke during a pivotal moment in the game.
Best part: The guy in the plaid shirt behind the basket. The and-one move he makes is amazing.
7. C.J. Leslie is not nice to Jackson Simmons (Jan. 26).
Leslie dunks all over Simmons with angry authority in N.C. State’s 91-83 win over UNC.
Grade: A. Leslie takes advantage of a defensive lapse and embarrasses Simmons with this monster dunk.
Best part: Leslie staring at the back of Simmons’ head as Simmons flips the ball dejectedly to the ref.
6. Ben McLemore works his magic (Feb. 23).
McLemore skies to this monster one-hand slam during Kansas’ 74-48 win over TCU on Feb. 23.
Grade: A. McLemore takes off from just outside the paint for this dunk that put a stamp on Kansas’ first half domination after they had suffered a loss to TCU earlier in the season.
Best part: “TCU’s not going to make it to single digits.” “But Ben McLemore is!” Not making it to single digits, literally impossible.
5. Mason Plumlee nails the reverse (Jan. 26).
Plumlee gets this no-look reverse dunk to go during Duke’s 84-64 win over Maryland.
Grade: A. Plumlee follows up the play beautifully and is able to gather and slam the ball home, all without really looking.
Best part: Plumlee and Quinn Cook’s accidental run-in/celebration.
4. Dunk City lights it up (March 24).
Eric McKnight finishes the sick alley-oop in Florida Gulf Coast’s 81-71 third round win over San Diego State.
Grade: A+. Florida Gulf Coast did not get the nickname “Dunk City” for nothing.
Best part: The way McKnight runs up the court is guaranteed to give you a chuckle. McKnight somehow getting a block on the Aztecs’ next possession makes it even better.
Disclaimer: In reality, FGCU could have had a top 10 list all to itself with the highlight reels they put out during their Cinderella run knocking off Georgetown and SDSU. We just picked our favorite for this list.
3. Brandon Paul gets nasty (Jan. 9).
Paul dunks on Trevor Mbakwe in acrobatic fashion during Illinois 84-67 loss versus Minnesota.
Grade: A+. This play starts innocently enough, and then the next thing you know, Paul has turned the corner, Mbakwe has stepped up and we get this nasty dunk as the result.
Best part: The way Paul uses the rim to rotate himself 180 degrees, then rotates out of that while landing into an awesome walk.
2. Jamaal Franklin’s high-flying assist-dunk (Jan. 9).
Franklin goes off the glass to himself during San Diego State’s 65-62 win over Fresno State.
Grade: A+. This dunk wins most creative on the list. Not many guys would think, or would be daring enough, to go off the glass to themselves for a dunk, much less release the ball at the three-point line.
Best part: Just about every player on Fresno State’s roster stops to watch Franklin slam it home.
1. Marcus Lewis dunks on everything (Feb. 2).
Marcus Lewis dunks over Nino Johnson and pretty much the rest of the South East Missouri State team during Eastern Kentucky’s 81-72 win.
Grade: A+. Lewis gets ridiculously high on this jam, and it is somehow more impressive when you find out he’s only listed by Eastern Kentucky as 6-foot-4. Just filthy.
Best part: You’re wondering who in the world Marcus Lewis is. Also, Eastern Kentucky’s bench absolutely loses it when Lewis completes his dunk.
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