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Feb. 1st – This Date in VT Hoops History

On the night of February 1st, 1986, the #2 and unbeaten memphis state tigers roared into Blacksburg to take on the #16 Virginia Tech Hokies led by Dell Curry.  In a weird scheduling quirk, the two teams had met just five days earlier, with msu rolling to a 83-61 win in Memphis.  But this night would not be a repeat act.  This time, things were in the Cassell and people that were there will tell you this was one of the greatest environments in the history of the Cassell.  memphis state was a year removed from going to the Final Four in 1985, before losing to eventual champ villanova, and the 20-0 tigers were expected to move up to #1 in the polls, but couldn’t get past the Hokies on this night.  Tech knocked off the #2 memphis state tigers 76-72.

The Hokies would go on to make the NCAA Tournament in 1986 but lose to defending champ villanova 71-62, in what was Dell’s final game as a Hokie — DELL’s BIO

This was not the first time Tech had knocked off the highly rated tigers in the Cassell.  Three years earlier the Hokies had defeated #1 memphis state and stud Keith Lee 69-56.

memphis state would go on to be a #3 seed in the NCAA Tournament in 1986 before losing in the 2nd Round to lsu.  The tigers would later have to vacate their tournament trip, including the Final Four the previous year, due to recruiting violations committed by Head Coach Dana Kirk.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1284 posts on Tech Hoops.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. While not a professional journalist by any stretch, Niemo analyzes and breaks down every minute of Hokie hoop action. He also researches topics of interest such as Hokie recruits, program revenue, statistical data on the team, previews VT opponents, and discusses his favorite bourbons/Scotches. In addition to his passion for Hokie hoops, Niemo has attended 126 straight VT football home games (every game since '94), eclipsing the 100 mark in September of '09 and recently attended his 20th consecutive VT/uva game. During the final home basketball game of his senior year, he was brought onto the court and was awarded 2 passes to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament in Philly during a timeout for being a "Super Fan" during his time at VT. The Hokie Bird made the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

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