Steve Victory JOURNAL – NCT Championship 2025
Here’s the tale of the tape for the NCT title game.
• NCSU (28-11) vs. Oklahoma (30-6)
• The Sooners started the season on a 19-game winning streak; State had a 13-game winning streak early on.
• Oklahoma is ranked 5th in the nation, State 19th
• Oklahoma has an edge at the 4 and 5 spots. State’s guards are first-rate, according to the match-ups screen going into the game.
Replays of NC State’s 1983 championship game air several times on ESPN Classic on Sunday night and Monday morning. Will Michael Stokes or Andre Baker finish the 2025 championship game throwing up a desperation shot/pass to Toni Zupic for the game-winning dunk? Will Steve Victory run around looking for someone to hug like his hero Jim Valvano? Will State win its third NCT title in school history?
The answers: No. No. Yes!
Victory has plenty of time to plan his post-game celebrations. State gets up by double figures early and cruises to the NCT title 79-59! Andre Baker scores 24 points and earns tournament MVP honors. The junior is an animal at the free-throw line, making 14 attempts. He also had eight boards from his SG spot. He had a great three weeks!
Toni Zupic rips down a game-leading 15 rebounds, has seven blocks and swipes two steals. Stokes and Jon Henry score 12 points each. Stokes also has nine assists. Victory and Sheriff Wilt, as predicted, take one backboard each, crawl up on top and celebrate like a couple of college kids. The party might not end for several days on Hillsborough Street, TV stations in Raleigh report.
Wow, in Victory’s 22nd season as a head coach, he is again the chief of a national championship team. It’s his second NCT title in six years. He stock is surely going to rise… But no need to worry about that now… It’s time to cut down the nets and celebrate well into the night.
“How does it feel?” Victory asks the Sheriff, putting a finger in his assitant coach’s back like a gun.
“Better than an all-you-can-eat night at Miami Subs," Wilt quips.
Charles Barkley meets the NCSU coaches outside the locker room. “Not bad for a couple of white boys,” he says with a cheesy grin. “Not bad at all… Hey, if I get fired from Alabama, can I join your staff?”
Barkley gets an invite into State’s post-game festivities, and the players mug him with Gatorade and ice water. Many remember hearing stories about his playing against Michael Jordan “way back when.” Barkley’s a good sport despite his ‘Bama team’s underachieving.
“Congratulations boys,” Victory tells his players. “You have reached the pinnacle of the game. You’re part of a rare club. You are national champions.”
Nothing could be finer…