Watch an opening tip-off between a 7-6 center and a 5-8 guard

The most improbable victory of the college basketball season this year occurred at the start of a Jan. 14 game between Long Beach State and UC Irvine.

Five-foot-8 guard Justin Bibbins won the opening tip-off against the tallest player in college basketball,  7-foot-6 center Mamadou Ndiaye.

Since Long Beach State doesn't have a player taller than 6-foot-8, coach Dan Monson figured there was no point in having one of his forwards vie for the ball against Ndiaye. Instead Monson chose to send his fastest guard into the circle and try to win possession another way.

Monson instructed Bibbins not to try to jump at all. Bibbins instead darted to the spot he expected Ndiaye to try to tip the ball and batted it backward toward one of his teammates, giving the 49ers possession to open the game.

The rematch of this season's most fun tip-off occurred Thursday night in Irvine, and once again Bibbins got the call to go up against Ndiaye. The result was more predictable this time as N'Diaye easily tipped the ball backwards to a teammate.

The tip-off between two men of such differing heights is not the only historic jump ball in which Ndiaye has participated this season. Back in November, Ndiaye squared off against Central Florida's 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall in perhaps the tallest tip-off in basketball history.

Bibbins and Ndiaye may be all even in jump balls, but UC Irvine has bragging rights in the win-loss column. The Anteaters (21-8, 10-3) have swept both games from the 49ers (15-13, 9-4) to remain entrenched in second place in the Big West behind first-place Hawaii.

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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!