VT Hokies Basketball: Program History For "Dummies"

With the hiring of new men's basketball coach Buzz Williams, the program is seeing a major face lift with the departure of many players, leaving only two starters from last year's team on the roster: Devin Wilson and Joey Van Zegeren. It's obvious basketball at Virginia Tech is heading in a completely different direction than it has been over the years, but what are the program's roots? Here is a primer for all of you budding Hokies fans who will need to "GET BETTER" as fans, as Buzz put it so succinctly the other day among other things. Remember, we are a basketball school now.

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Here's a run-down of Tech's past NCAA Tournament appearances:

Overall Record: (6-8)

Year


Round


Opponent


Result/Score


1967


First Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight

Toledo
Indiana
Dayton

W 82–76
W 79–70
L 66–71

1976


First Round

Western Michigan

L 67–77OT

1979


First Round
Second Round

Jacksonville
Indiana State

W 70–53
L 69–86

1980


First Round
Second Round

Western Kentucky
Indiana

W 89–85 OT
L 59–68

1985


First Round

Temple

L 57–60

1986


First Round

Villanova

L 62–71

1996


First Round
Second Round

UW–Green Bay
Kentucky

W 61–49
L 60–84

2007


First Round
Second Round

Illinois
Southern Illinois

W 54–52
L 48–63

Virginia Tech's eight NCAA appearances are far behind Kentucky (53), North Carolina (45), UCLA (44), and Kansas (43). But is tied with schools like Baylor, Bradley, Saint Mary's (CA), Morehead State, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Auburn, Valparaiso, South Carolina, Southern, Southern Alabama, and Eastern Kentucky. (Not proud of that list). George Mason, Austin Peay, and Furman have six appearances!

Unfortunately, I'm only able to recollect Tech's 2007 tournament appearance and the great guard play of Zabian Dowdell and Jamon Gordon (two of my favorite Hokie hoop players of all time), AD Vassallo, and the emphatic jams of Deron Washington (my favorite to watch play even though he flopped more than LeBron does today). Seth Greenberg did the best with what he had that year, but ultimately it wasn't enough to advance further in the big dance.

Highlights from the First Round game versus Illinois (A great comeback victory):


But hey, look at that. Tech did advance to the Elite Eight back in 1967! Which I doubt anyone reading this remembers. But it is a bright spot on a dim Hokie history on the hardwood.

Virginia Tech in the NIT:

Overall Record: (24-10)

NIT Champions: 1973, 1995

Year


Round


Opponent


Result/Score


1966


First Round

Temple

L 73–88

1973


First Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Finals

New Mexico
Fairfield
Alabama
Notre Dame

W 65–63
W 77–76
W 74–73
W 92–91

1977


First Round
Quarterfinals

Georgetown
Alabama

W 83–79
L 72–79

1982


First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals

Fordham
Mississippi
Georgia

W 69–58
W 61–59
L 73–90

1983


First Round
Second Round

William & Mary
South Carolina

W 85–79
L 75–76

1984


First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Third Place Game

Georgia Tech
South Alabama
Tennessee
Michigan
Louisiana-Lafayette

W 77–74
W 68–66
W 72–68
L 75–78
W 71–70

1995


First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Finals

Clemson
Providence
New Mexico State
Canisius
Marquette

W 62–54
W 91–78
W 64–61
W 71–59
W 65–64

2005


First Round
Second Round

Temple
Memphis

W 60–50
L 62–83

2008


First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals

Morgan State
UAB
Mississippi

W 94–62
W 75–49
L 72–81

2009


First Round
Second Round

Duquesne
Baylor

W 116–1082OT
L 66–84

2010


First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals

Quinnipiac
Connecticut
Rhode Island

W 81–61
W 65–63
L 72–79

2011


First Round
Second Round

Bethune-Cookman
Wichita State

W 79–54
L 76–79OT

If only the NIT was the NCAA tournament, am I right?

Unfortunately, again I can only recollect when Tech was a bit mediocre with the short comings in the NIT. I thought we had a real shot at winning some of these NITs in the 2000's with Malcolm Delaney. To me, the NIT is Tech's history. Historically, Tech is a great NIT team that is near the last to cut from the NCAA Tournament and that's where the Hokies have been for many years.

Hokie Greats:

Name


Number


Position


Career


Bimbo Coles


12

G

Virginia Tech’s first Olympian. United States Olympic team (1988). Selected in the second round of the 1990 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings. Played 14 NBA seasons.

Ace Custis


20

F

Currently an assistant coach at Virginia State University.

Dell Curry


30

G

First round pick in 1986 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. Played 16 NBA seasons with five different teams.

Allan Bristow


44

F

Played in the NBA for ten years. Former head coach of the Charlotte Hornets.

Dell Curry Highlight:


In the last game of his career, former Hokie Dell Curry put on a show.

The history of Virginia Tech basketball is a brief discussion. The Hokies aren't consistent, switched conferences over the years, and aren't quite good enough for the NCAA's. But all that looks to change with Buzz Williams at the helm. Are the best years to come?

For additional reading, check out VT's history vs #1 ranked teams here. A bit of a longer read, but rich with history.

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