Gary Payton II puts on a dunk contest in Oregon State’s win vs. No. 21 USC

Gary Payton II held a dunk contest against USC. (USATSI)

Oregon State and USC put on a great show for the fans who decided to spend their Sunday afternoon watching some entertaining Pac-12 hoops instead of tuning into football. The first half featured more than a half dozen electrifying dunks, several courtesy of Gary Payton II, the game’s star with 22 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists.

The 85-70 victory gives Oregon State a good win against a ranked team, but also a little bit of juice after losing three straight and four of five in conference play. Jerry Palm still had Wayne Tinkle’s team in the NCAA tournament picture as one of the first four out before the weekend, and this win should not only help their case with the committee but also give them a boost heading into a stretch that includes Arizona, Arizona State and Utah.

But for all the tournament implications, the biggest takeaways were the highlights. At this point, we should put Gary Payton II on “must-watch” status because it looks like he’s going to be doing this on a regular basis.

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