VCU 71, DAYTON 65 (March 15, 2015)
VCU had won eight previous conference championships, but perhaps none was more emotional or unexpected. In four days, VCU saved its season. The Rams completed their remarkable run through the 2015 Atlantic 10 Tournament with a hard-fought victory over Dayton in the Championship Game at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
On Jan. 31, VCU was 17-3, ranked 14th in the country and in the midst of a 12-game win streak. But that all came to crashing to the ground when senior point guard Briante Weber, a three-time A-10 Defensive Player of the Year, tore his ACL late in a 64-55 loss to Richmond and was lost for the year. The Rams closed the season with a 5-6 mark, including a three-game losing streak that included a decisive loss at Davidson.
However, in Brooklyn, the Rams were reborn. VCU won four games in four days to claim the title. With under a minute to play against Dayton and VCU clinging to a two-point lead, the Rams unexpectedly switched to zone defense, and Doug Brooks produced a steal and found JeQuan Lewis for a critical bucket. Treveon Graham finished with 20- points and 13 rebounds for the Rams.
At the final buzzer, Weber, one of VCU’s emotional leaders, hopped to center court, his knee in a brace, and embraced his teammates.