2016-17 Conference-USA schedule released for WKU men’s basketball

Schedule courtesy of WKU Athletics.

John Reecer

The WKU men’s basketball team will play five of its first seven conference games on the road as the Conference-USA schedule was released for the team on Wednesday.

Despite the road games which start the season, the Hilltoppers will close the regular season with five of its last seven games within the confines of E.A. Diddle Arena.

The C-USA Tournament will be held March 8-11 in Birmingham, Ala., and will include the top 12 teams in the league standings.

The first conference game for the Hilltoppers will be on New Year’s Eve as they will travel to play Florida Atlantic University on Dec. 31. The first home conference game for WKU will be on Jan. 5 against the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

The Hilltoppers will play home-and-home series with four of the top five finishers in C-USA last season – the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Middle Tennessee State University, Old Dominion University and Marshall University.

The 18-game conference slate also includes a home-and-home series with Charlotte and single games against the other eight teams in the league.

WKU will play seven of its nine conference home games from Jan. 26 forward, with the spring academic semester in session and students on campus.

WKU continues two of its top league rivalries with road trips to UAB (Jan. 12) and Middle Tennessee (Jan. 14). UAB won the C-USA regular-season title last year, while Middle Tennessee won the conference tournament and upset No. 2 seed Michigan State University in the NCAA Tournament.

The first matchup with Middle Tennessee will be the 133rd meeting in the series that dates back to 1914-15. WKU leads the series 93-39 and 52-14 in Bowling Green.

The schedule continues Jan. 21 with a trip to Marshall, followed by home games against the University of Texas at EL Paso (Jan. 26) and the University of Texas at San Antonio (Jan. 28). The Hilltoppers then head to Louisiana Tech (Feb. 2) – winner of 23 games a year ago – and the University Southern Miss (Feb. 4).

WKU returns home to host Marshall (Feb. 11), Middle Tennessee (Feb. 16) and UAB (Feb. 18). The Hilltoppers hit the road for one last swing at Charlotte (Feb. 23) and Old Dominion (Feb. 25) before hosting the University of North Texas (March 2) and Rice University (March 4) in the regular-season finale.

C-USA’s television partners could still ask for date changes to accommodate broadcast schedules. Information on the nonconference portion of the 2016-17 schedule will be available in the coming weeks, according to WKU Athletics.