When the opening round games of March Madness tip off, there are almost too many highlights to keep up with. Unless you have 30 TVs and the attention span of a dog that doesn’t blink, you’d be hard pressed to catch all of the spectacular dunks, blocks and buzzer-beaters that happened on what now feels like a regular basis. Fortunately, the social media platform Vine exists, and basketball is its tango partner. The two were meant for each other, allowing fans to search and watch their favorite highlights on one, continuous loop.
Here are the best Vines from the opening rounds of the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
Although Ohio State went out in the round of 32 against Arizona, freshman sensation D’Angelo Russell left his mark with his flashy ball-handling skills. Here, he hits a VCU defender with a myriad of moves that eventually leave the poor guy on the ground in a plank position.
This doesn’t really even qualify as a crossover, more just a sudden change of direction, but West Virginia’s Jevon Carter couldn’t handle it. As Maryland’s Jared Nickens fakes right, then darts left, Carter’s feet fail him as if he were suddenly transported to an ice rink in a pair of decade-old skates. He goes down and Nickens goes to the hoop. Carter will never hear the end of this one from his teammates.
Willie Cauley-Stein might be the most freakish athlete on a Kentucky team full of freakish athletes. Viewing one of his dunks is like seeing the Mona Lisa for the first time. That’s a slight exaggeration, but this slam over Cincinnati’s Quadri Moore is perfection.
This dunk got called off because of an offensive foul, but whatever. When a slam is this good, it shouldn’t matter whether the defender is set. In this case, Wyoming’s Derek Cooke Jr. should have been awarded 20 points on style alone.
The No-Look Pass
Here’s D’Angelo Russell again, executing one of the coolest no-look passes you’ll ever see. He’s going to be a ton of fun running point when he gets to the NBA, which could be next year.
What would March Madness be without amazing, last-second shots for the win? This one, from Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter, gave the 14th-seeded Panthers a victory over third-seeded Baylor and sent their head coach (who also happens to be R.J.’s dad and who was sitting in a rolling chair due to a torn Achilles) flying off his chair and to the ground. It was beautiful.
NC State’s BeeJay Anya, our nominee for best name in the NCAA Tournament, got a super-friendly roll on this hook shot to complete the Wolfpack’s huge comeback against LSU in the round of 64. The bench reaction here might be the best thing about this video.
“Would you like some turkey with that stuffing?” That’s what Dayton’s Kendall Pollard probably said to Providence’s Kris Dunn after he rejected Dunn’s dunk attempt. Probably.
Our man BeeJay Anya is back, this time with a block of top-seeded Villanova’s Daniel Ochefu’s shot, which sent Ochefu to the ground from the sheer force of the rejection. This block was a part of NC State’s big upset of Villanova, which sent the Wolfpack to the Sweet Sixteen.
We can’t wait for the Sweet Sixteen.