Dunk of the Year nominee: Utah State's Brady Jardine

Utah State's Brady Jardine already had a strong, lengthy presence on YouTube before Saturday night.

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

A few free throws later, and Utah State improved to 25-3 with a 75-65 win. It capped a miserable week for Saint Mary's, which already included a crushing loss to WCC bottom-feeder San Diego.

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:

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

Indiana forward Tom Pritchard

Indiana guard Will Sheehey

Louisville guard Kyle Kuric

Tennessee guard Scotty Hopson

Purdue guard E'Twaun Moore

Ryan Greene also covers UNLV and the Mountain West Conference for the Las Vegas Sun. Read his Rebels coverage and follow him on Twitter.

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