Slam over TCU was No. 1 for a reason

By Christopher Kamrani, Asst. Sports Editor

“Did you just see that?!”

I studied the text message for a second or two. I couldn’t think what friend and sports columnist Nicholas Pappas was referring to. I ventured to guess what was burning up the tube that night. There was no Jazz game. “American Idol” hadn’t started yet. “Date My Mom” or Paris Hilton’s “My New BFF” weren’t on8212;it wasn’t Friday. Ditto for “LOST” or “Grey’s Anatomy.”

What could it have been?

Then I remembered.

Utah was taking on TCU in Fort Worth, meaning the game started earlier than usual. Something amazing must have happened because when Pappas delivers a text message, it’s kind of like Carlos Boozer playing defense8212;it just doesn’t happen very much.

It must have been epic. Oh, was it ever.

Halftime had just commenced and the Utes trailed the Frogs 32-27. I eagerly waited. Then I realized what he must have been astonished by.

Carlon Brown did it again. Brown, the sophomore swingman out of Riverside, Calif., made this one count.

The halftime highlights showed Luke Nevill being double- and triple-teamed by the undersized Frogs and Utah’s outside shooting finding hell frozen over.

With 36.5 seconds left in the first half, Brown took off from the middle of the Mountain West Conference sign at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum and instantly assured a five-star YouTube rating and a thunderous slam that would be seen worldwide.

Brown left no room for error, soaring over TCU forward Kevin Langford and finishing with authority. The replay from behind showed Brown so high that the ball eclipsed the top of the smaller square on the backboard.

During the halftime show, the two hosts on The Mtn. weren’t able to speak as they replayed the dunk over and over and over again.

Utah went on to play an immaculate second half and won, 62-54.

“I thought Carlon Brown was a man among boys,” said head coach Jim Boylen after the victory. “He played with a lot of force.”

Brown was one of the nation’s most heralded recruits, and three Top 10 dunks on “SportsCenter” in a span of eight weeks speaks volumes about the talented 19-year-old.

On Dec. 13 against No. 2 Oklahoma, Brown threw down an emphatic right-handed tomahawk despite a whack across the head by the Sooner defense that resulted in a no-call. The Dec. 22 match against No. 17 Utah State saw Brown take a fast-break outlet pass, launching a foot outside of the key and acrobatically stuffing it home. This time, a blocking foul was called.

But the throwdown Feb. 4 was legendary on more than one account.

Brown’s in-air style points have earned him praise, and I see no way that he wouldn’t be invited to the dunk contest that takes place during the Final Four weekend. Brown’s cocked-back right arm is a dangerous weapon and teams such as TCU, Utah State, Oklahoma and Wisconsin Green-Bay have been just a few that have learned that lesson the hard way. There is no doubt that Brown’s dunk has been the best in college basketball this year and probably won’t be topped.

The video that has already earned YouTube 5,473 views and counting notched the No. 1 play on “SportsCenter” that night, bumping off the 52 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds LeBron James earned at Madison Square Garden.

Was Brown’s dunk that memorable?

As “SportsCenter” anchor Steve Levy explained during the highlight, “What’s going to be No. 1? This better be pretty special…”

It was. Enough to trump an amazing performance by arguably the best player in the NBA at the most famous venue in the world.

“Utah’s Carlon Brown is special.”

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Chris Kamrani