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The Alltime Alumni Weekend
Jack McCallum
November 23, 1998
Imagine that the best players from all the top colleges magically came together to decide which program had the greatest team of all. We did, and we'll tell you who won
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November 23, 1998

The Alltime Alumni Weekend

Imagine that the best players from all the top colleges magically came together to decide which program had the greatest team of all. We did, and we'll tell you who won

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F Marques Johnson
F Bill Walton
C Lew Alcindor
G Walt Hazzard
G Reggie Miller
F Sidney Wicks
F Keith Wilkes
C Willie Naulls
G Lucius Allen
G Gail Goodrich

Paying little mind to a pregame woofing session between Miller and Laimbeer, the power twosome of Walton and Alcindor (a combined 78% from the field) overwhelmed the Irish inside. Dantley (40 points) outscored Johnson in the battle of big-butt post-up forwards, but his gunning only served to leave Carr grumbling about a lack of shots. Final: UCLA 119, Notre Dame 98.

Some UCLA old-timers were enraged when Miller, not Goodrich, started, and the stumpy guard proved them right by coming off the bench to outscore Respert (32-28) in a duel that resembled an NBA three-point contest. The Bruins' second-team frontcourt tandem of Wicks and Wilkes also spelled W for the Bruins by exposing Kelser to be no Special K. Final: UCLA 112, Michigan State 101.

With one minute left, Alcindor (above) flashed across the lane, took a pass from Hazzard and skyhooked the Bruins into the lead. Jordan twisted himself into a pretzel on a baseline drive to put the Heels back on top. Alcindor, denied good position in the post, set a pick for Walton, who caught a pass in the low post from Miller, turned and banked in a jumper at the buzzer. Bruins win 99-98. In the stands an owlish old gent smiled slyly and raised a rolled-up program in triumph.

In a brilliant X's and O's move rarely seen in an alumni game, Manning--using Cheaney like a dishrag--and Chamberlain played a cute double-post offense, while Lovellette, one of the few great athletes whose first name is really Clyde, pounded the glass. The muscular Valentine and the brainy White kept switching off on Thomas and gave him fits. Final: Kansas 109, Indiana 101.

Angered that Thomas didn't pay him proper respect, Bing tried to take the game into his own hands and scored 37 points. But a fired-up Thomas buried Washington, never a Pearl on defense, with 42 points and 13 assists, and McGinnis intimidated Owens inside. "Heck, we didn't even need Keith Smart to beat them this time," said Alford. Final: Indiana 111, Syracuse 106.

11. Syracuse
F Derrick Coleman
F Billy Owens
C Rony Seikaly
G Dave Bing
G Pearl Washington
F Louis Orr
F John Wallace
C Roosevelt Bouie
G Sherman Douglas
G Lawrence Moten

16. Notre Dame
F Adrian Dantley
F LaPhonso Ellis
C John Shumate
G Austin Carr
G John Paxson
F Moose Krause
F Orlando Woolridge
C Bill Laimbeer
G David Rivers
G Kelly Tripuka

6. Indiana
F Calbert Cheaney
F George McGinnis
C Walt Bellamy
G Steve Alford
G Isiah Thomas
F Scott May
C Kent Benson
C Don Schlundt
G Dick Van Arsdale
G Mike Woodson

8. Michigan
F Rudy Tomjanovich
F Chris Webber
C Bill Buntin
G Rickey Green
G Glen Rice
F Phil Hubbard
F Campy Russell
F Cazzie Russell
C Roy Tarpley
G Gary Grant

At a pregame shindig hosted by the governor of Michigan, Magic had the crowd in stitches with stories about Skiles's car-driving skills and then spoke just as eloquently on the court with a triple double that included 22 assists. A second-half comeback by Michigan was derailed when Webber drew a technical for elbowing Willis. Final: Michigan State 107, Michigan 103.
Michigan State

When Ewing got into foul trouble, Mutombo did a serviceable job containing Wilt until he finger-wagged Chamberlain after blocking one of his fallaway jumpers. Big mistake. Wilt reeled off 16 straight points, 10 of them on power dunks. Mourning looked befuddled at forward and wilted under the old-school strength of Lovellette. Final: Kansas 103, Georgetown 89.

14. Georgetown
F Alonzo Mourning
F Reggie Williams
C Patrick Ewing
G Sleepy Floyd
G Allen Iverson
F Jim Barry
F David Wingate
C Dikembe Mutombo
G Michael Jackson
G Charles Smith

9. Michigan State
F Terry Furlow
F Greg Kelser
C Kevin Willis
G Magic Johnson
G Shawn Respert
F Ralph Simpson
F Jay Vincent
C Johnny Green
G Scott Skiles
G Steve Smith

3. Kansas
F Clyde Lovellette
F Danny Manning
C Wilt Chamberlain
G Darnell Valentine
G Jo Jo White
F Bill Bridges
F Raef LaFrentz
F Paul Pierce
G Paul Endacott
G Jacque Vaughn

Round One


Alcindor and Walton, fatigued after an all-night rap session about repression and the American political process, sat out much of the game, so Shaq (43 points, 22 rebounds) had his way inside. But Hazzard (19 points, 20 assists) picked the LSU backcourt apart with street-smart savvy and afterward got a rise out of Jackson by asking, "Hey, hayseed, you know where Philly is?" Final: UCLA 123, LSU 119.

The Jayhawks decided to let Jordan score and contain everyone else. Bad strategy. MJ went for 65, and afterward even Wilt had to admit, "The boy can play a little." Almost as important was Daugherty's containment of Chamberlain after McAdoo got in foul trouble. Big Brad either stood his ground or sent Wilt to the line, where he was 11 of 28. Final: North Carolina 128, Kansas 118.
No. Carolina


Round One

5. Duke
F Danny Ferry
F Grant Hill
C Christian Laettner
G Johnny Dawkins
G Jeff Mullins
F Art Heyman
F Jack Marin
C Mike Gminski
G Dick Groat
G Bobby Hurley

Stung by his backup status, a feistier-than-usual Hurley came off the bench to put on a dazzling display of floor generalship (15 assists). As for its backcourt, Houston got too little 0 from Chaney and too little D from Birdsong. An angry Big E said the result would've been different had the game been played in the Astrodome. Final: Duke 106, Houston 101.

With 2.2 seconds left and Duke down by one, Laettner set up at the foul line to receive a full-court pass from Groat, a shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates who insisted on throwing the pass. Distracted by the leaping of Hot Plate Williams—remember when he could jump?—on the baseline, Groat overthrew Laettner. "Grant should've thrown it," mumbled a peeved Laettner. Final: LSU 103, Duke 102.

Although the triple double battle between Jordan (29, 12, 10) and Robertson (27, 11, 11) came off as anticipated, Worthy stole the show. If Twyman was a prototype small forward, then Worthy (43 points) was the next step in the evolution. Billy C's mad hops left Fortson flat-footed, and big men Perkins and McAdoo each stepped outside to hit three three-pointers. Final: North Carolina 134, Cincinnati 125.
No. Carolina

Before the game, the Big 0 pulled Van Exel aside and made one thing clear: I run the show. Nicky V heard him loud and clear and, matching Lucas shot for shot, scored 24 points from the two guard position. The Terps' Bias-Smith combo couldn't keep up with the more physical Hogue and Fortson on the offensive boards. Final: Cincinnati 102, Maryland 98.

10. Maryland
F Len Bias
F Joe Smith
C Len Elmore
G John Lucas
G Walt Williams
F Albert King
F Buck Williams
C Tom McMillen
G Adrian Branch
G Gene Shue

12. Houston
F Clyde Drexler
F Elvin Hayes
C Akeem Olajuwon
G Otis Birdsong
G Don Chaney Bench
F Dwight Davis
F Michael Young
C John Block
G Reid Gettys
G Rob Williams

7. Cincinnati
F Danny Fortson
F Jack Twyman
C Paul Hogue
G Oscar Robertson
G Nick Van Exel
F Ron Bonham
F Pat Cummings
C Connie Dierking
G Lloyd Batts
G Tom Thacker

4. Kentucky
F Dan Issel
F Jamal Mashburn
C Bill Spivey
G Ralph Beard
G Frank Ramsey
F Jack Givens
F Cliff Hagen
C Alex Groza
G Kyle Macy
G Cotton Nash

Although no-look passes from Pistol Pete twice hit him in the nose, Shaq's quadruple double (36 points, 23 rebounds, 14 blocks, 10 roof raises) was way too much for the Wildcats in this hot-blooded SEC battle. After Pettit slapped him on the back and called him a second-generation Wilt, Shaq snapped, "I ain't second to nobody." Final: LSU 126, Kentucky 118.

With a typical—and aggravating—sense of democracy, the Tar Heels substituted five at a time. Even their backup team, led by the play of Davis and Perkins, outscored the Friars, but the real damage was done by Jordan (51 points) and Ford (19 assists), who tortured Wilkens and the-step-too-slow Ernie D. Final: North Carolina 126, Providence 103.
No. Carolina

15. Providence
F Bruce Campbell
F Otis Thorpe
C Marvin Barnes
G Ernie DiGregorio
G Lenny Wilkens
F Austin Croshere
F Michael Smith
G Johnny Egan
G Eric Murdoch
G Jimmy Walker

13. LSU
F Rudy Macklin
F Bob Pettit
C Shaquille O'Neal
G Chris Jackson
G Pete Maravich
F Howard Carter
F John Williams
C Greg Cook
G Kenny Higgs
G Derrick Taylor

2. North Carolina
F Billy Cunningham
F James Worthy
C Bob McAdoo
G Phil Ford
G Michael Jordan
F Sam Perkins
F Lennie Rosenbluth
C Brad Daugherty
G Walter Davis
G Charlie Scott

Turn down Vitale and Packer for a while and join us at our basketball Brigadoon, an imaginary place where the players from the college game's greatest teams square off in an alumni tournament for the ages. We looked at every top programs before seeding the 16 schools with the strongest lineups, then invited 10 players from each school to the four-day event, and they all accepted...without even consulting their agents. We ask you—as Samuel Coleridge once did—to suspend your disbelief and accept the premise that the players are all in their primes, returning to campus a few seasons after they left school. Our venue is Madison Square Garden, the old Garden, where college hoops ruled supreme. We had one rule: No coaches! No Dean Smith four-cornering the Tar Heels into a 50-point game, no Bob Knight tossing a chair when Isiah Thomas played matador defense, no John Thompson waving a towel at Allen Iverson to quit shooting. So dig out your old letter sweater, grab a tattered pom-pom, close your eyes and let your imagination take over. Hmm...what would it be like if Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton wore UCLA's blue-and-gold at the same time?

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]