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Jeff Eisenberg

Dunk of the Year nominee: Indiana forward Tom Pritchard

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

Of all the guys who could have delivered the signature highlight from Indiana's upset victory over Minnesota on Wednesday night, Tom Pritchard might have been the least likely candidate.

First of all, the 6-foot-9 forward is averaging a mere 2.1 points and 3.8 boards a game for the injury-ravaged Hoosiers. And second, the earthbound Pritchard doesn't exactly have Blake Griffin-athleticism, to put it mildly.

Perhaps the unlikeliness of the moment is what made the emphatic put-back slam invoke such a huge reaction from the Indiana crowd and Big Ten network announcers and earn a spot on SportsCenter's top plays segment. As Verdell Jones' errant first-half 3-pointer clanged off the rim, Pritchard approached the glass from the free-throw line, leapt towards the goal, grabbed the ball in mid-air and dunked over a helpless 6-foot-11 Ralph Sampson III.

The dunk sparked Pritchard to easily his most productive game of the season.

Playing 30 minutes in part as a result of an injury that has sidelined Christian Watford, Pritchard scored a season-high 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting and also grabbed seven rebounds. Not bad for a guy who had been playing solid defense but hadn't scored more than eight points all season.

Previous Dunk of the Year nominees:

Illinois forward Brandon Paul

Central Florida guard Marcus Jordan

Syracuse forward C.J. Fair

Old Dominion guard Kent Bazemore

High Point guard Shay Shine

Memphis forward D.J. Stephens

Dayton forward Chris Wright

Oregon State guard Jared Cunningham

Vanderbilt's Jeffery Taylor

Arizona forward Derrick Williams

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