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Sam Richmond | | February 19, 2016

College basketball: 7 greatest dunks in college basketball history

There have been plenty of transcendent dunks during college basketball's illustrious history.

We’re talking about the type of dunks that leave you in a state of disbelief, the ones that make you feel truly in awe of what you’ve just seen.

But even among all the great dunks we've seen over the years, there are still a select few that stand out as truly remarkable slams.

Here are the seven best dunks ever:

Jerome Lane breaks the backboard (1988)

Jerome Lane’s 1988 dunk stands among the most memorable plays in college basketball history.

After receiving a pass near the elbow on a fastbreak, Lane threw down a one-handed dunk so hard that it shattered the backboard. The sheer power behind Lane’s dunk is something to marvel at.

But Lane’s not the only one who is remembered for his work that day; legendary broadcaster Bill Raftery’s call of “Send it in, Jerome!” in the dunk’s aftermath has become iconic.

Michael Jordan rocks the cradle (1984)

The "rock the cradle" dunk became a staple for Michael Jordan, and it's not hard to see why considering he nailed his first in-game attempt at it.

With no defender in sight during a fastbreak in a 1984 contest against Maryland, MJ leaped from just outside the paint and treated the ball like a baby, rocking it around his arms before slamming it home.

A well-timed jump and smooth “cradling” make this dunk near perfection.

Dahntay Jones creates a poster (2003)

What Dahntay Jones did to Nick VanderLaan in 2003 was simply unfair.

The Duke guard had a lane to the basket, and while VanderLaan met him with a fine contest near the rim, Jones amazingly got up over him and threw down a monster dunk, putting the Virginia center on a poster near you.

The leaping ability, the strength to keep going through the contact and the power behind the dunk make this one special.

Darvin Ham throws down huge putback (1996)

Darvin Ham started this play at the free-throw line. Unfortunately for the backboard, he didn’t stay there.

Ham attacked the offensive glass and, with all his momentum, grabbed the board over two Tar Heels and threw down a huge put back dunk. Goodbye, backboard.

What’s special about a dunk like this, aside from all the glass on the court, is that it came out of nowhere. There’s no build up to it like there is a breakaway dunk (See: Jordan’s 1984 dunk above). In an instant, Ham went from being out of the play to slamming home one of the strongest dunks you’ll see.  

Dirk Minniefield floats in the air (1983)

Dirk Minniefield might not have had the most memorable basketball career, but he at least had a dunk that no one will forget.

Minniefield’s 1983 transition slam against the Bulldogs was simply spectacular. His hangtime on the dunk is absurd, as he seemingly floats in the air before throwing it down.

It’s hard to even call this a posterizing dunk, though, because the 6-3 Minnifield gets up so high that the defender isn’t even a factor.

Jarvis Basnight clears his defender (1988)

Jarvis Basnight completely jumped over his defender.

There doesn’t really need to be much more said than that, does there?

Jerry Stackhouse silences Cameron (1995)

Cameron Indoor is one of the loudest arenas in the country. However, you wouldn’t know that if you walked in right after Jerry Stackhouse’s one-handed reverse dunk in 1995.

The crowd-silencing dunk was something to behold, as Stackhouse attacked from the baseline and maneuvered his way through two Duke defenders at the basket to throw it down.

The fancy moves combined with the athleticism on display here is incredible.  

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