There's a fascinating PBS short on the history of GIFs, 35 percent of which is dedicated to people intellectualizing their appeal.
The theories range from the blunt (it's like a picture, but it moves) to the abstract (humans crave repetition). By the end of it, I'm not sure we've progressed all that far past: GIFs are awesome.
But GIFs are awesome, and college basketball GIFs are even more awesome because they involve college basketball.
Here are our 10 favorites from the 2012-13 college basketball season.
10. Louisville Springs a Trap
GIF courtesy of Sports Illustrated
What You're Seeing: Louisville ambushing South Florida with a sudden half-court trap during the idle moments of a conference game.
Why It's Awesome: Because Louisville's defense (ranked first in adjusted efficiency, per KenPom.com) is awesome and because Sports Illustrated wunderkind Luke Winn used the GIF to demonstrate the stunning magnitude of its awesomeness.
9. That Twinking Feeling
GIF courtesy of collegehoopsjournal.com
What You're Seeing: I couldn't rightly tell you.
Why It's Awesome: Because you get to see that moment when he realizes he's on television.
8. The Bill Self Boogie
GIF courtesy of Larry Brown Sports
What You're Seeing: Bill Self urging his defense to retreat during the waning seconds of a game against Oklahoma State.
Why It's Awesome: Because we finally got to see how a Bill Self/MC Hammer headline tour might play out.
7. Patric Young Is a Man of Great Strength
GIF courtesy of searchingforbillyedelin.com
What You're Seeing: Florida forward Patric Young (6'9") erasing Florida State junior Terrance Shannon (6'8").
What It's Awesome: Because Patric Young can make people disappear.
6. Markel Brown Will Destroy Your Baskets
GIF courtesy of CBS Sports
What You're Seeing: One of the dunkiest dunks in the dunktastic career of Oklahoma State junior Markel Brown.
Why It's Awesome: Of the one percent of people who can dunk a basketball, 99 percent of them wouldn't even attempt this.
5. An Orange Krush Rush
Courtesy of SB Nation
What You're Seeing: The final play from Illinois' upset win over Indiana.
Why It's Awesome: Because the play works. Because the game matters. And because as the camera angle widens, we catch the delirious first moments of all the court-rushing mayhem that will ensue.
4. A Very Merry Bakamus
GIF courtesy of holdoutsports.com
What You're Seeing: Gonzaga freshman Rem Bakamus celebrating a made shot by his team during its game against Illinois.
Why It's Awesome: Because it allows us to process his unfiltered enthusiasm, smile, look up his name online and smile some more.
3. Slapgate, 2013
GIF courtesy of Twitter user @nate_friedman
What You're Seeing: Miami trolling Duke with a wound-salting reenactment of the Blue Devils' patented floor slap.
Why It's Awesome: Because Warren Sapp started the whole thing, and because Duke responded a month later.
2. Butler Against Gonzaga in the Fieldhouse
GIF courtesy of SB Nation
What You're Seeing: The final seconds of Butler's miracle win over Gonzaga. In the sequence, Butler's Roosevelt Jones steals the entry pass and sinks the game-winning shot as time expires.
Why It's Awesome: The whole thing happened in less than four seconds. Butler won by one point.
1. World, Meet Marshall
GIF courtesy of collegebasketballtalk.com
What You're Seeing: Marshall Henderson taunting an angry horde of Auburn bros after having sunk a pair of game-winning free throws.
Why It's Awesome: Because of everything about it.