It wasn't just a hostile crowd, high altitude and a ultra-motivated opponent Oregon had to overcome to remain undefeated Thursday night.
Utah also threw trick rims at the Ducks.
With the score tied at 64 and 4:16 remaining in overtime, Oregon's Elgin Cook rose for an emphatic two-handed slam that had the Ducks bench leaping up and down and pumping their fists with excitement. The celebration turned to surprise a split second later when the ball slingshotted back out of the basket despite going through the rim and three-quarters of the way down the net.
To the referees' credit, they made the proper call not to count the basket. The NCAA rulebook states a shot only counts when "a live ball that is not a throw-in enters the basket from above and remains in or passes through." In this case, it appears the recoil of the rim foiled Cook after he violently snapped it down.
Bizarre as Cook's missed dunk was, he should take solace that he's not the first player to experience such buzzard's luck.
In November, Butler's Kameron Woods had a dunk go three-quarters of the way down the net and come out on a coast-to-coast drive against Vanderbilt. Almost the identical thing happened to Kansas State's Jamar Samuels in and Texas A&M's Kourtney Roberson back in Jan. 2011.
It was probably easier for Cook to chuckle about his bizarre missed dunk once Oregon emerged with a hard-fought win. Damyean Dotson's steal and last-second fast-break dunk gave the Ducks a 70-68 victory.