Johnathan Motley didn’t have a clear path to the basket after he spun around his defender on the block. It didn’t matter. He just went through Chimezie Metu, who slid over as the help-side defender.
Motley’s highlight-reel dunk put the Bears up 29-23 late in the first half against the Trojans. He was named second-team All-American by NBC Sports after a junior year where he averaged 17.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 blocks per game.
The winner of this game advances to the Sweet 16 to play the winner of Duke and South Carolina.
Like his teammates, Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. got off to a slow start in the first half of his team’s Big 12 tournament semifinal against Baylor. But the Jayhawks got going in the second half, and Selden’s dunk on Baylor’s Ishmail Wainwright proved to be the highlight of the game.
Wainwright had good intentions when he attempted to rotate over to get between Selden and the basket in the second half of their Big 12 semifinal matchup. Unfortunately for Wainwright things did not work out as he likely envisioned, as his rotation was a bit late and Selden took flight for a powerful one-handed dunk.
And to add insult to “injury,” Wainwright fouled out on the play. And the reaction that Selden’s uncle had to the dunk was priceless.
Vine credit: The Cauldron
California’s been one of the hotter teams in college basketball in recent weeks, as they entered Sunday’s home game against USC having won their last six games. The win streak coincides with the return of senior guard Tyrone Wallace, who missed time with a broken right hand, and the Golden Bears’ lone scholarship senior celebrated “Senior Night” in style.
Wallace was able to turn the corner on two USC defenders at the left elbow, getting the head of steam needed to throw down an impressive one-handed dunk over USC forward Nikola Jovanovic. The play summed up the night for Wallace and his teammates, who grabbed control of the game late in the first half and didn’t look back.
Cal won by the final score of 87-65, moving their win streak to seven games with Wallace being one of five Golden Bears in double figures with 12 points. Freshman Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb scored 18 apiece to lead the way.
Northern Iowa’s pulled off some major upsets this season, beating both North Carolina and Iowa State, but they haven’t been able to maintain the level of consistency needed to threaten Wichita State in the Missouri Valley. Wednesday night the Panthers knocked off Evansville 57-54, with senior guard Wes Washpun being a key contributor in the win.
Washpun, who was a handful against both the Tar Heels and Cyclones, finished the game with a team-high 14 points and four assists. Two of those points came in impressive fashion, as he turned the corner on a ball screen and threw down an emphatic one-handed dunk on Evansville big man Egidijus Mockevicius.
Yeah, Wes can get up.
Illinois junior guard Kendrick Nunn’s had an eventful week, beginning with the birth of his son. Sunday night Nunn made his return to the court after missing the Fighting Illini’s game at No. 5 Michigan State, and he made his presence felt throughout the game against No. 20 Purdue.
Nunn’s biggest highlight: the above dunk on Purdue freshman forward Caleb Swanigan. Swanigan appeared to have designs on challenging Nunn at the rim, but once in mid-air he pulled his hand back. Almost as if he were resigned to his fate.
Oregon State senior guard Gary Payton II has thrown down some impressive dunks this season. Of course the most notable was his vicious dunk against Kansas in Kansas City, but there was also the 360 in a half-court set against Cal-State Fullerton in mid-December.
Sunday night, the son of the point guard who led Oregon State to its last NCAA tournament appearance in 1990 added another highlight to his personal reel in the Beavers’ 70-57 win over Oregon.
Oregon’s Chris Boucher, who’s averaging 3.3 blocks per game, attempted to rotate over to defend the basket against a hard-charging Payton II. But it didn’t matter, as Payton II took off and threw down an impressive one-handed dunk.
Payton II scored all 12 of his points in the second half Sunday night, with teammates such as Langston Morris-Walker (11 first-half points) and Tres Tinkle (nine first-half points) picking up the slack in the game’s first 20 minutes. Also of note in the win was Oregon State’s defense, which limited Oregon to 35.8 percent shooting and zero fast break points.