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Team for the Ages

If you could have just five players for your lineup of the century, whom would you choose? Here are our starters, with a look at them then and now

Click here for more on this story

Posted: Thursday November 11, 1999 01:10 PM

By Jack McCallum

Bill Bradley
David Thompson
Oscar Robertson
Jerry Lucas
Lew Alcindor
Sports Illustrated There's a UCLA center, but he's not Bill Walton. There's a backcourtman whose versatility defies belief, but he's not Michael Jordan. There's a rep from the Big Ten, but he's not Isiah Thomas. There's a player from North Carolina, but he's not from Dean Smith's Tar Heels. And there's a guy from -- could this be right? -- the Ivy League. Keep in mind that in making selections for SI's Millennium All-Star Team -- the best five college players of the 20th century -- we didn't care what our Fab Five for the Ages accomplished later in the NBA. Therefore, there's no Magic or Wilt (both of whom played only two years of college ball), no Larry (though he came darn close), no Michael (whose hands were tied by Smith's spread-the-wealth system) and no Bill Russell (alas, the competition was tough at the center position). And no player from the last 25 years because, it seems, so many potentially great collegians have left early for the pros. Three members of our legendary lineup won at least one NCAA title -- one of them won three -- but all belong in anyone's hall of fame. More important, decades after they left their respective halls of ivy, they remain eternal BMOCs, men whose feats are celebrated whenever the old grads pull up a chair, pour a glass of sherry and say, "You know, I was around here when...."

What player would make your starting five? See who some of your fellow users have selected, and click here to let us know your pick.

Click on a thumbnail for the full photo
and a capsule look at each player.

Photographs by Peter Gregoire

Issue date: November 15, 1999

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