Part of what makes basketball such a fan-friendly sport is the high-flying, eye-popping feats of athleticism witnessed regularly on the hardcourt. And the dunk is the single most exciting, electric and jaw-dropping play in the sport. And as March Madness 2013 wraps up its first weekend, we thought we would provide the fans with our choices for the best dunkers in college hoops today.
Some of whom could be playing deep into the tourney this month.
1. Markel Brown, G, Oklahoma State (6-3, 190, Jr.)
What makes Brown so electric is his ability to build a highlight reel as just a 6-foot-3 guard. He can elevate and make defenders look silly. Depsite an early exit against Oregon in the first round of the Big Dance, Brown has still given fans in Stillwater plenty to cheer about. In fact, my favorite Brown throwdown is one against Mizzou that was so fierce he got a technical four and was ejected from the game.
2. Victor Oladipo, G, Indiana (6-5, 214, Jr.)
Few players showed as much improvement this season as Oladipo. And his unreal athletic abitlity is part of what has made him a National Player of the Year candidate. He has played huge in huge games and this play against Ohio State, in which he comes out of nowhere to throw it down, was downright sick.
3. Rodney Williams, F, Minnesota (6-7, 200, Sr.)
The senior has long been a fixture above the rim in The Barn at Minnesota. So here is a compilation of high-flying throwdowns from one of the nation's best athletes.
4. D.J. Stephens, G/F, Memphis (6-5, 188, Sr.)
Memphis has had a tremendous tradition of elite athletes who play above the rim over the last decade or so. And Mr. Stephens is this year's torch-bearer in that respect. This one in particularly was impressive because it came in the biggest game of the conference season for the Tigers.
5. Sam Thompson, F, Ohio State (6-7, 200, So.)
The Ohio State Buckeye might be one of the freakiest athletes in all of the nation. His dunking ability has been on full display since getting to Columbus two years ago and it could be a key piece to a deep Tournament run for Thad Matta's team.
6. Kyisean Reed, F, Utah State (6-6, 215, Sr.)
Reed is one of the darkhorses to watch in the 2013 Dunk Contest in Atlanta come Tournament end. He is a underrated player because of where he plays, but his ability to throw down with the best isn't underrated at all.
7. C.J. Fair, F, Syracuse (608, 25, Jr.)
Cuse has loads of lengthy, rangy athletes who can play above the rim and Fair is certainly among them. This particular dunk against National Player of the Year candidate Otto Porter of Georgetown was especially impressive.
8. Doug Anderson, F, Detroit (6-6, 212, Jr.)
Because he plays at a small school, many don't know about Anderson. Be he clearly has uncanny ability to star in a dunk contest — or just a regular season game.
9. Cody Zeller, C, Indiana (6-10, 240)
Zeller makes his living around the rim and has a long highlight reel of impressive dunks, many coming on forceful put backs. We'll simply call this one against Michigan at home Exhibit A.
10. Deuce Bello, G, Baylor (6-4, 187, So.)
For a guard, Bello has extreme hops. He is more of an honorable mention since he wasn't a huge part of his team this season, playing just over 11 minutes a game. But his historic prep career at Westchester Country Day (N.C.) more than served as a showcase for his dunking ability. This video has a slow start but delivers the goods and is worth checking out.
Best of the Rest:
Andre Roberson, Colorado
Chris Evans, Kent State
Ronald Roberts, St. Joseph's
Shaquille Johnson, Auburn
C.J. Leslie, NC State
Roman Galloway, La Salle
Vander Blue, Marquette
Nick Johnson or Gabe York, Arizona
Dezmine Wells, Maryland