In the aftermath of the University of Kentucky's National Championship, an interesting question was asked: How would they fair against Michigan's Fab Five? Conventional wisdom tells us they would fail miserably, as that team had 2 NBA All-Stars and in all, 5 players with truly amazing ability. However, further analysis into the situation explains why this match-up would be a lot more competitive than many other writers believe.
In their first year, the Fab Five lost in the National Championship to a Duke team led by Christian Laettner and Grant Hill a dynamic duo that won 2 national titles. In their second year, they lost to a UNC team with no players that had successful NBA careers. Despite their reputation as a game-changing group of basketball players, they were unable to accomplish in two years what Kentucky's class did in only 1 year. To be fair, the Wildcats did have some form of veteran leadership, with sophomores Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones, as well as Senior Darius Miller. Another difference between the two is their wins and losses. The Wolverines had periodic slip-ups and losses, but the Wildcats only lost 2 games, both of which to teams that they also defeated at some point in the season, making them the standard for all of college basketball.
A potential game between these two teams would be all about the individual match-ups. Most Notable: Jalen Rose vs Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Juwan Howard vs Terrence Jones, and Chris Webber vs Anthony Davis. Although Rose was the team's point guard, Kidd-Gilchrist did well against Louisville's Peyton Siva and Kansas' Tyshawn Taylor. Also, at 6'8 215 pounds, Rose was a different kind of monster. his quickness and athletic ability was equal to that of Kidd-Gilchrist, and his offensive prowess would allow him to prevail as the victor between the two of them. Terrence Jones and Juwan Howard might be the most intriguing match-up, as both of these players served as the enforcers for their respective teams. Both of them are about 6'9 250 pounds, but Juwan Howard's mean streak would give him the ability to take advantage of Jones on the boards and in the post. Chris Webber and Anthony Davis would undoubtedly steal the show. The Big Uni-Brow vs The Big Timeout. Both stand around 6'10 and 225 pounds, and they are both a cut above the rest of the players in terms of athletic ability. The alley-oops, blocks, and slam dunks would be endless. In the end, Webber gets the edge, because he has always had a toughness about him that I do not see in Anthony Davis.
In all honesty, the supporting casts would play a major role in deciding the game's outcome, because the big three's match up very well against one another. The size of Ray Jackson and Jimmy King gives them the advantage over Marquis Teague and Doron Lamb. Many people speculate that the NCAA was more competitive back in the 1990s, because players were not typically leaving school after 1 year of college. Level of competition definitely differs between the decades, but a champion is a champion, so Kentucky's success cannot be refuted or disputed. However, after taking every factor into account, the Fab Five still gets the W against Calipari's Wildcats. Simply put, they were just too good.