But a late dunk against Saint Mary's quieted the home crowd in Moraga, Calif., in the closing minutes just as it appeared that the Gaels were about to complete a late comeback. Now, the slam is his crowning viral achievement.
The dunk came after a Saint Mary's score pulled the hosts within six points of USU at 65-59 with under three minutes left to play in the most crucial of the weekend's made-for-TV BracketBuster matchups. The loser would leave the building knowing that winning its league tournament would likely then be the only way into the NCAA tournament.
The 6-foot-7 junior was the beneficiary of a great find by Aggies guard Brokieith Pane, who drew a double-team from Gaels forward Mitchell Young while slicing down the lane. By the time Young whipped around to see where the pass went, Jardine's abdomen was in his face
Jardine celebrated by staring down anyone who came within range of him, yelling here and there. The best reaction, though, was that of assistant coach Tarvish Felton, caught on ESPN's cutaway to the bench just before showing the instant replay.
The Aggies aide let out a quick look of disbelief, while the rest of the bench had to be letting out sighs of relief, with Jardine essentially putting the finishing touch on an at-large résumé-saving win.
Previous Dunk of the Year nominees: