Bobby Stevens’s name may not be familiar to every Hokie fan, but it should be. Stevens hit arguably the biggest shot in Virginia Tech basketball history. His putback floater of his own miss in overtime at the buzzer gave the Hokies a 1-point win over notre dame and the 1973 NIT Championship (which was a big deal back then since the NCAA Tournament had a much smaller field of just 24 teams).
Here’s a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ARTICLE about Tech’s NIT Championship run (from their archives).
Stevens will be honored at this year’s ACC Tournament along with a member from each other ACC school, including Terry Holland, Tree Rollins, Julius Hodge, Eric Montross, John Lucas, and Dave Bing.
Stevens was a 5’10” guard who started his college career at ferrum. He played just two years at Virginia Tech, so you won’t see him on any top 10 lists in terms of his production, but his winning basket will forever be cherished in Hokie basketball lore.
I had the opportunity to watch the tape of the NBC broadcast in the VT library while doing research on Hokie basketball. And even though it was 25 years after the fact and I wasn’t even born when it originally happened, my hair stood up watching the final seconds and the buzzer-beating win.
The win capped an improbable run for Tech in the NIT tournament. Back then all the games were playing in Madison Square Garden. Tech defeated new mexico, fairfield, alabama, and notre dame by a combined 5 points to win the title. Tech truly was the cardiac kids for those four games.
Congrats to Bobby!