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“The Dunk” - Mustapha Heron

NCAA Basketball: Georgia at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Look, we don’t have a whole lot to celebrate in Auburn basketball history, especially recently. They flashed a graphic last night that said that Auburn’s got a 99% chance to make the tournament this year. That’s fantastic, but it’s the first time that we will have seen a tournament team since 2003.

In terms of individual moments, it’s really hard for me to think of singular shots that would make the highlight reel in Auburn basketball history. There’s Reggie Sharp’s buzzer-beater to beat Alabama, and Chris Porter’s dunk back in 1999 against LSU.

We’re adding another one to the list after last night.

Trailing 42-41 about six minutes into the second half, Auburn took the ball and found Mustapha Heron in the corner. Heron drove the baseline, made a move, and all of a sudden found himself destroying someone’s soul.

“...and there ain’t a damn you can do about it, ‘cept go back and watch that monster dunk again...”

“...and again...”

“...and again.” - Pat Dye (I think)

The new AD Allen Greene took notice.

The shock wave from the sizzling rim gave a couple rows of students the medical malady known as “the vapors” and rendered them incapable for a few moments.

The point is (and stay with me on this), maybe this season now has that defining moment. Auburn’s trailed by double digits in nearly all of its SEC games (everyone except Arkansas), and come back to win them all save one. However, there wasn’t that one moment, that shot, that people are going to look at. Just a collection of solid plays leading up to the win.

I have to make a football comparison because it’ll work best.

1993 was a good season, but there wasn’t really that sparking moment until Calvin Jackson’s pick-six against Florida.

2004 had Campbell to Taylor against LSU.

2010 had Cam’s Heisman run against LSU.

2013 had several moments, but the singular play never really happened until The Miracle at Jordan-Hare, followed by the Kick Six.

Now, basketball in 2018 has that moment. Mustapha Heron broke out of a funk against Alabama and gave it to us with sheer strength. Give me a lip reader please, because I want to know what kind of demons he was expelling when he landed.

I could be wrong, and we could limp to the finish, but if that’s not a seminal moment for this team, then I’d love to see what is.

War Eagle!