VCU 85, Long Island 69 (March 13, 1981) – First NCAA Tournament Win
While VCU’s beginnings were humble, the program began to establish itself nationally in the late 70s and early 80s. VCU’s triumph over Long Island in the 1981 NCAA Tournament was one of the landmark achievements of this period. Just three years earlier, VCU had reached the postseason for the first time. In 1980, the Rams earned their first NCAA bid. In 1981, they checked off another program first.
Kenny Stancell poured in 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Monty Knight added 21 points in a convincing win over Long Island in Charlotte, N.C. VCU built a 14-point halftime lead and never looked back. Danny Kottack and Edmund Sherod also provided 19 and 18 points, respectively, for VCU.
Two days later, the fifth-seeded Rams pushed fourth-seeded Tennessee to the brink, but future NBA standout Dale Ellis hit a 15-foot jumper with one second left in overtime to give the Vols a 58-56 win.