Over the past few weeks, the folks behind the official Kentucky Basketball Twitter account have been running a series of polls to determine the best dunk of the John Calipari Era. The fans have spoken, and by a very narrow margin, Willie Cauley-Stein’s dunk at Florida in 2015 beat out James Young’s slam in the 2014 National Championship game for the title:
The championship matchup was every bit as close as anticipated.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) June 10, 2019
I was fortunate enough to witness both dunks in person and, although Young’s was incredible, nothing will ever top Willie putting poor Devin Robinson on a poster. The energy in the O-Dome was at a fever pitch when Willie took flight, and the slam was so magnificent that even Gators fans got out of their seats. Looking back, it may go down as the perfect representation of how dominant that team was. We were all Rock Oliver:
What other dunks were on the list? Here were the original seedings:
- No. 1 seed: James Young with the nasty slam in the 2014 National Championship
- No, 2 seed: Willie Cauley-Stein’s throwdown from the SEC logo against Florida in 2015
- No. 3 seed: Willie Cauley-Stein poster slam against Cincinnati in 2015
- No. 4 seed: Jamal Murray climbing the ladder against South Carolina in 2016
- No. 5 seed: Darius Miller’s one-handed lob against St. John’s in 2011
- No. 6 seed: Darius Miller poster slam against Ole Miss
- No. 7 seed: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist breakaway dunk against Portland in 2011
- No. 8 seed: Anthony Davis’ throwdown vs. Louisville in the 2012 Final Four
- No. 9 seed: Eric Bledsoe’s cram on Wake Forest in the 2010 NCAA Tournament
- No. 10 seed: Marcus Lee’s off-the-backboard alley-oop from Tyler Ulis against South Carolina in 2016
I miss basketball.