Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech athletics
When Mississippi State baseball left Omaha with a College World Series championship just a couple of weeks back, they exited an exclusive club that didn’t have a lot of perks.
That club? Power 5 schools that have never won a team national championship — in any sport.
The two that now remain? Kansas State, and of course, Virginia Tech. Hokie fans constantly get silenced in Twitter arguments with ACC foes and schools across the country about their empty national championship trophy case in the Merryman Center.
“This area is reserved for the national championship trophy. Go Hokies!”
Yes, Virginia Tech fans have all painfully seen it scrolling through the timeline whenever a jab is taken by an opposing fan base in retaliation for the Hokie nation’s trolling of a big-time win over their respective team.
Sure, 165-pound Virginia Tech wrestler Mekhi Lewis recently took home an individual national title at his weight in the 2019 NCAA Championships. But when will Virginia Tech actually win its first team national championship?
That’s a question a lot of fans have on their minds.
The Hokies have a lot of “pretty good” programs throughout the athletic department. But which ones could actually go all the way?
There aren’t a lot of obvious ones. But there are four that stand out that could have an outside shot to make a run at a national championship in the near future.
In a 4-part series, we break those down, and tell you which program has the best chance to fill that empty trophy case in Blacksburg. Men’s soccer started the list on Wednesday. We now enter the top three:
3. Men’s Basketball
The men’s basketball team is the most major program to crack our list, and for good reason.
From an ACC bottom-feeder just six years ago, to now being one of the top teams in the league year in and year out, Virginia Tech men’s basketball is here to stay.
Former head coach Buzz Williams did a lot of the heavy lifting early on. Williams took over a program that had relatively zero history of winning. The exception was a couple of NIT championships.
In less than two seasons after finishing 2-16 and dead last in the ACC for the third straight year, the now-Texas A&M head coach had the Hokies in the NCAA Tournament. It marked the first time in 10 seasons.
Two more seasons passed by. Williams had built quite possibly the best Virginia Tech team to ever take the floor, coming just a tip-in away from the Elite Eight.
Want more Hokie content?
Discussion like this takes place every day in our forum! Join today!
Mike Young then took the reins, and he had to do it all over again. The former Wofford head coach had to completely rebuild the program from scratch. Williams’ departure left him with just four scholarship players.
It’s safe to say that the New River Valley native has been quite the fit in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech overachieved with a .500 record in his first season back in his own backyard. He took it to another level in year No. 2.
Young took home ACC Coach of the Year Award honors as the Hokies finished third in the ACC after having been picked 11th in the preseason poll. They returned to the NCAA Tournament as well, and will now look to become a mainstay for years to come.
The program momentum is as strong as ever. Sparkling new renovations to Cassell Coliseum are set for the coming years. Plus, Young has continued to show he can put the right personnel on the floor during his short time at Virginia Tech.
Even after the Tyrece Radford exit, the Hokies could still contend for an ACC title this upcoming season. It’s not unreasonable to think this team can hang another Sweet 16 banner.
Virginia Tech isn’t “there” yet in terms of being a national championship caliber team. It should however, be in that seed range from here on out where with the right match-ups, it could get hot enough to make an extremely deep run.