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March 10, 2011

Cassell Moments: Fan Responses

By: Jimmy Robertson

In the February issue of Inside Hokie Sports, Jimmy Robertson wrote a story about the 50th anniversary of Cassell Coliseum, and within that story, he listed his top 10 moments in the Cassell’s history. The staff posted the story on as well as the Virginia Tech athletics department Facebook page. Here are some of the responses, which came through e-mail and on Facebook:

Jimmy Robertson’s take on the Duke win: Obviously, the top-10 list was put together before the Hokies’ victory over No. 1 Duke on Feb. 26. Most of you rated it No. 1. Given the crowd, the ESPN cameras, Duke’s ranking, the thrilling ending and that the Blue Devils are the defending national champions, I’d certainly rank this game in the top five.

On the recent win over No. 1 Duke

“I think it is in the top 5 … Beating UNC a few years ago, the last second 3 vs. New Mexico State to send VT to the NIT final four in 1995, and the 141-133 double OT win vs. So. Miss. in 1988 when VT was down 19 … Beating Memphis in 1983 would round the top 5 … Tech was only a 4-point dog in the past game.”
– Dave Pair on Facebook

On the Feb. 1, 1986 game vs. No. 2 Memphis State

“I was @ that game! A great game!”
– Eric Hollenbach on Facebook

“I was there, too. The Cassell was rockin’! Good call for #1.”
– Jim Tomlinson on Facebook

“The win over Purdue just after we beat Duke on the road in Dec., 1966, has to be up there near the top 10. That was greatest team of all time. Made the final eight.”
– Bill Neal on Facebook

Jimmy Robertson’s response: “Bill, actually, I never considered this game, and that’s an oversight on my part. Dave Smith, our longtime assistant AD for athletics communications and resident encyclopedia of Tech sports, agreed with you, which goes a long way with me. Tech beat Purdue in front of 11,500 fans at Cassell – to this day, the largest crowd ever at the Coliseum. At the time, it was the largest crowd ever to watch a basketball game in the state of Virginia.”

I was a member of the 1977-81 team. It was 1977 and we were playing Syracuse. They may have ranked 13th at the time. We totally destroyed them 87-71. It was the loudest that Cassell was in my four years.”
– David Bennett via e-mail.

Jimmy Robertson’s response: “David, I looked at this game closely. It was probably No. 11, to be honest.”

On the Jan. 13, 2007 game vs. No. 1 UNC

“I'm in that crowd somewhere. This is #1 to me, but I'm partial.”
– Ryan Adams on Facebook

Jimmy Robertson’s response: “Ryan, I considered it as the No. 1. But most longtime Tech fans would disagree. Tech jumped out to a huge lead in this game, and then held on, so it didn’t have the drama of some of the other great wins.”