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The Top 50 NCAA Dunks of All Time, Featuring Lots of UNC and Duke Appearances

We know it’s the midst of football season, but some of us just can’t help clicking our proverbial heels together (no pun intended) and saying “there’s no highlights like basketball highlights” - especially when it involves lots and lots of mind-bendingly awesome dunks. You may have already seen the compilation below since it’s been making its way around the interwebs, but in case you haven’t, welcome to the best 14 minutes of your day: an exhaustive compilation of the top 50 NCAA Dunks of All Time.

A YouTube user who goes by Mixst311 spent the past two years researching dunks and gathering footage in order to put together a video compilation of the 50 best dunks in Division I college basketball history. Everything about the video is superb, especially the wide range of dunks and the quality of the footage.

This thing was a labor of love and it definitely shows - some of these dunks must have been pretty tough to find, and apparently one player from Utah State even personally sent the editors a copy of his college highlight reel to help them out: he ended up making it on there twice.

In case you wanted the tally, here’s everyone from both sides of the Rivalry that make an appearance in the top 50, both as the dunker and occasionally the unfortunate victims of posterization themselves.

Honorable mentions: Michael Jordan vs Maryland, Vince Carter vs Wake Forest, Bobby Hurley’s alley-oop to Grant Hill in the 1991 title game vs Kansas, Jerry Stackhouse’s famous up-and-under posterization of Cherokee Parks, Wake’s Antwan Scott dunking on Duke at Cameron Indoor

  • #50: Jerry Stackhouse vs Virginia Tech, 1995 (nicely recapped in this blog post from Order of the Court recently)
  • #46: Clemson’s Sam Perry vs Duke, 2006
  • #42: Grant Hill over 7’1” Jim McIlvaine of Marquette, 1994
  • #33: Miami’s DeQuan Jones vs UNC, 2009
  • #14: Vince Carter vs Clemson, 1996
  • #8: Texas Tech’s Darvin Ham vs UNC, 1995
  • #7: Dahntay Jones vs UVA, 2003

The only one in the top 50 that I had the honor of witnessing in person was #33, when I still did some photography for UNC basketball. I’m obviously biased because of that, but seriously,  that one should be higher; Jones jumps from the other side of the basket, double clutches under two defenders and finishes on the opposite side of the rim - it happened so fast, a lot of us photographers didn’t realize how nasty the dunk was until we got a glimpse of it on our LCD screens during the next time out. Just look at the kid’s unbelievable body control - I think he was somehow still going UP at this point:

The reaction from teammates sitting on the bench is always one of the bests part of a sick dunk, too:

So yes, I’ll throw my support behind DeQuan Jones getting a higher spot, even though it comes at the hands of my beloved Heels. I also would have loved to see Stackhouse stuffing it over Cherokee Parks (what can I say, I guess I’m a sucker for up-and-under dunks) and Grant Hill’s alley-oop in the title game make the top 50, as well as Vince’s inbounds dunk on Clemson be higher than #14, but then I’m not the one who spent two months of research on this thing. It’s still an incredibly fun watch and I’m doubtless that I’ll be playing this one several times over the next few weeks. When does basketball season get here again?

Also: who knew Kerry Kittles could fly???!