Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hokies Win Big in 1973

The 1972-73 "Virginia Tech Gobblers" basketball team had a good year ..... a VERY good year.  To cap it off, they went to the NIT tournament in New York and came away with their first ever national championship, winning their final four games by a total of only 5 points.  The Hokies shocked the college basketball world by pulling off an upset of Notre Dame in overtime.

The Blacksburg Sun reported it this way:

Hokie Bird of the early 70's
"When Bobby Stevens missed what should have been the last shot of the game with the Hokies down by one at 91-90 in overtime the Irish from Notre Dame were all but home with the (NIT) trophy.

Stevens wasn't convinced.

The ball rolled crazily off the right side of the hoop, bounced off some frantic hands and Stevens, at 5'10" the smallest man on the court, found himself with the ball and time running out.

He fired up a shot Tech fans will be a long time forgetting.  The net hadn't even stopped swaying when the horn went off and a team that most people had never picked to get past the first game of the tourney had won it all."

When the team bus pulled into Blacksburg they got a huge welcome from students and fans from all over the area.

1 comment:

  1. I watched that entire game in the game room next to the bowling alley at Squires. There were a dozen-odd chairs set up near a big-screen TV, and throughout he course of the game various people came and went to watch the Hokies, none having much expectation of victory. I was an optimistic 15 year-old, though, so I held my place. By the last 5 minutes of the game, however, a HUGE crowd squeezed into that area, and what turned out to be a classic back-and-forth battle elicited either cheers or groans with each play. When that final play, which the Blacksburg Sun article aptly describes, was over, that room EXPLODED in cheers. We might as well have been on the floor of Cassell Colosseum. Later that night I awoke to unusual sounds emanating from Main Street a block or so away. I got up to ask my Mom what was going on and she told me it was the team bus returning home from the Roanoke airport. There must have been thousands of fans lining the street to welcome them home. We ran down to Main st to try to catch them, but we missed the bus. We did stay for a little of what was left of the party, though ;-)