Hilltoppers reveal non-conference schedule

WKU guard Taveion Hollingsworth (11) tries to move inside at the Charlotte v WKU basketball game on Feb 22, 2020 in Diddle Arena. The Hilltoppers were defeated 72-20.

Kaden Gaylord

On Friday morning, WKU Men’s Basketball announced its nine-game non-conference slate, including four games in Diddle Arena. 

The Hilltoppers will welcome Campbellsville, Rhode Island, Tennessee Tech and Mississippi Valley State to Diddle Arena in December after a five-game stretch in two different bubble events to open the season.

WKU will open the season with two games on Nov. 25 and 26 in Nebraska’s multi-team event, the Golden Window Classic, in Lincoln, Neb. Those opponents are still to be announced.

The Hilltoppers will then travel to Louisville, where they will play three games at the KFC Yum! Center. The games will take place during the Cardinals’ Wade Houston Tipoff Classic, although WKU will not officially be in the event. 

WKU opens play in Louisville against 2020 Sun Belt Conference champion Little Rock on Nov. 28. The Trojans, who went 21-10 last year.

The Hilltoppers then will face Louisville on Dec. 1 for a true road game that will count toward the teams’ ongoing series. Louisville leads the all-time series 41-39, including a 71-54 victory last season in Nashville. The Cardinals finished 24-7 with a NET ranking of 8 a year ago before the COVID-19.

WKU closes play in Louisville against 2020 SWAC champion Prairie View A&M, who went 19-13 last year, on Dec. 3.

 The Hilltoppers begin the home portion of their non-conference schedule against Campbellsville on Dec. 10. WKU posted a 109-66 victory last year over Stansbury’s alma mater.

On Dec. 13, Rhode Island comes to Diddle Arena for the first time ever. The Hilltoppers lost in an 86-82 overtime thriller on the road to the Rams last season in their first game without injured center Charles Bassey.

To conclude non-conference play, the Hilltoppers will host Tennessee Tech on Dec. 22 and Mississippi Valley State on Dec. 28.

Conference USA play begins Jan. 1 with the first of consecutive games at Charlotte. Teams will play Friday-Saturday in league action this year, facing the same team twice in a weekend at the same location for healthy and safety precautions.

Game times and TV broadcast info will be announced at a later date.

At this time, WKU is moving forward with a 15% arena capacity and ensuring all seating is socially distanced. More information on changes to gameday will be announced next week.

Now that the schedule is finalized, a ticket office or HAF representative will contact each season ticket holder. Season ticket holders will not need to call the ticket/HAF offices unless they would like to credit their tickets/HAF donation to next season or donate the current payment to the Tops Together Recovery Fund. 

If a fan credits their tickets to next year they will have the opportunity to purchase single-game tickets for this 2020-21 season if they become available. All season ticket holders should pay attention to email updates from the ticket office this weekend with more information.

Men’s basketball beat reporter & columnist Kaden Gaylord can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Kaden on Twitter at @_KLG3.