Wrestling fans may have to wait until Sunday for WrestleMania, but college basketball crowned its world champion of dunking on Thursday night.
Before a raucous crowd at McCamish Pavilion getting ready for Final Four festivities this weekend, University of Detroit guard Doug Anderson topped Arizona State's Carrick Felix to take the college slam dunk contest—and a pretty sweet championship belt.
Though Felix threw down plenty of great dunks himself, Anderson seemingly had the crowd wrapped around his finger from the jump. Half a country away from his Mercy home, Anderson had the Atlanta crowd chanting "Detroit" with every ferocious slam.
He also captivated the judges, earning a perfect 40 score on each of his attempts. Anderson's final dunk—a 360-degree, between-the-legs slam straight out of Rucker Park—brought shades of Vince Carter's epic 2000 All-Star Weekend performance to mind.
Here is a look at Anderson's first dunk, a jaw-dropping reverse clutch, to get a good idea of the electric atmosphere.
Other than Felix and Anderson, the dunks and dunkers were rather mundane. The first four dunkers missed so many attempts it brought back nightmarish memories of the NBA's iteration—is Jeremy Evans available?—before the true stars of the night came out to play.
TCU's Garlon Green did his best Dee Brown eye-cover impersonation and Long Beach State's James Ennis and Keion Bell both attempted great dunks, but the misses were just too much for the judges to overlook.
Other than Anderson, no one quite brought the entertainment level of USC's Renaldo Woolridge. His dunks were mostly lackadaisical in the semifinal round—though his first-round dunk, where he extended his arm so far that it was nearly behind his back, was nice—but he brought massive charisma and appeal to the proceedings. Also known as SB Babyy, the Swiperboy Entertainment entrepreneur and rapper was a crowd-pleaser at least.
Also in the semis was NCAA tournament darling Ramon Galloway. The La Salle guard had a bit of trouble making his attempts, but when they went in, Galloway left McCamish Pavilion standing at attention. His best dunk—and one of the best of the night—involved soaring over Iowa State guard Tyrus McGee, who was planted in a chair to hand Galloway the ball.
Either way, this night belonged to Doug Anderson. A little-known player from an even lesser-known college, Anderson put past college dunkers to shame. It was a coronation for a young man who may have just turned in one of the better dunk contest performances in recent memory.
Atlanta Falcons digital content manager Jay Adams was just as impressed as the team's receivers Roddy White and Harry Douglas, two of the judges, by Anderson's first dunk:
Of course, the most reaction came after Anderson's otherworldly finale. Here is a breakdown of some of the best reactions:
Raphielle Johnson of NBC Sports wonders why Memphis guard-forward D.J. Stephens did not get a call:
Who the crowd was enamored with, though, is Anderson, who may have vaulted to instant fame on Thursday night.