In a 2008 Sweet 16 game against Villanova, Kansas teammates Russell Robinson and Brandon Rush combined on an off-the-backboard alley-oop that has become one of the more famous plays from the Jayhawks' title run that season.
There was no national TV audience and no Gus Johnson on the call during Sunday's 83-56 thrashing of overmatched Miami (Ohio), but this year's Kansas squad still managed to produce a similar crowd-pleasing play.
With Kansas leading 19-11 midway through the first half, big man Markief Morris stole the ball and lobbed an outlet pass to guard Travis Releford at mid-court with nobody between him and the rim. Releford dribbled toward the bucket and flipped the ball off the backboard to wide-open trailer Elijah Johnson, who turned the richochet into an emphatic two-handed slam that whipped the Jayhawks crowd into a frenzy.
Between that dunk and a Marcus Morris poster slam that followed later in the game, it's no wonder that Miami was ready to anoint the Jayhawks No. 1 in the country afterward. The Redhawks are the lone team in the nation that has played Kansas, Duke and Ohio State this season, and they came away as impressed with the Jayhawks as any of them.
"I didn't play at Duke," senior Antonio Ballard told the Lawrence Journal-World. "I was out for that game. But I did play against Ohio State. I think KU is better than them. Just from watching Duke, in my opinion, I feel that KU is on top right now."
Previous Dunk of the Year nominees:
- the Jayhawks
- Brandon Rush