Virginia To Honor 1981 Men's Basketball Team
Feb. 20, 1998
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.– The University of Virginia men’s basketball program will honor Virginia’s 1980-81 team during basketball reunion activities at UVa on Saturday (Feb. 21). The team will be recognized during halftime of Virginia’s game (1:30 p.m. start) with Clemson at University Hall.
A reception for reunion participants is planned for Friday night (Feb. 20) and a dinner is scheduled for Saturday night.
The 1980-81 team, captained by seniors Jeff Lamp and Lee Raker, advanced to the Final Four for the first time in school history and is considered one of the best squads in UVa history. The team finished with a 29-4 record, including a 13-1 Atlantic Coast Conference mark.
The team’s berth in the NCAA Tournament was just the second in school history. Virginia won the East Regional championship to advance to the Final Four in Philadelphia, Pa. The Cavaliers lost to North Carolina in the semifinals, but defeated Louisiana State University in the final third place game in NCAA Tournament history.
Virginia finished the 1980-81 season with its highest rankings to date in the final wire service polls – third by United Press International and fifth by The Associated Press.
Ralph Sampson captured the first of three consecutive national player of the year awards, while earning All-America honors. Lamp joined Sampson in receiving All-America recognition.
The 1980-81 team sprinted to a 23-0 start and was ranked number one in the nation by The Associated Press before Notre Dame ended the nation’s longest winning streak with a last second win.
Current UVa head coach Jeff Jones and assistant coach coach Ricky Stokes were members of the 1980-81 team. The head coach of that team was current Virginia Athletic Director Terry Holland and Senior Associate Director of Athletics Craig Littlepage was an assistant coach. In addition to Jones and Stokes, other members of the team expected to be in attendance on Saturday are Sampson, Dean Carpenter, Louis Collins, Terry Gates, Jeff Klein, Peter MacBeth, Doug Newburg and Othell Wilson.
Several other former players will be returning to Virginia for the men’s basketball reunion activities.