It took until about halfway through the first day of March Madness for the NCAA Tournament to produce what might be its most impressive dunk.
With just under nine minutes left in the first half of Texas Tech’s game against Stephen F. Austin on Thursday, Red Raiders guard Zhaire Smith caught a pass from teammate Keenan Evans with his back to the basket, then spun 180 degrees to throw down an alley-oop. It was a highly impressive play, especially for a 6-foot-5-inch guard.
Here’s the play live:
And here are several replay angles that demonstrate just how crazy this dunk was.
Did he need to spin? Could he have just caught the pass facing the hoop and finished normally? We’ll never know. But we’re sure as hell not complaining about the outcome.
You occasionally see players catch potential alley-oops with their back to the basket and finish the dunk behind their heads, but Smith tried something different altogether. That play, executed during the middle of an NCAA Tournament game, wouldn’t look too out of place in a dunk contest.
As of this writing, Smith, who entered Thursday averaging 11.2 points per game, leads Texas Tech with six points and four rebounds, but the Red Raiders trail at halftime 30-27.