WKU announces new four-year basketball series with Murray

Zach Greenwell

Although it looked like WKU’s rivalry with Murray State might be in jeopardy, the series will now continue.

WKU announced in a release Thursday that the Toppers have agreed to a new four-year series with the Racers, starting in Bowling Green next season.

“We are excited to be able to extend this series with Murray State,” WKU Head Coach Ken McDonald said in the release. “They are one of our most historic rivals, and this is a game that each fan base eagerly anticipates. Coach (Billy) Kennedy does a great job and they have an excellent program, and we look forward to hosting the Racers in Diddle Arena again this season.”

WKU and Murray have played 148 times since 1932, with more than 60 percent of the contests decided by single digits.

The Toppers most recently lost at Murray, 69-60, last December, although WKU leads the all-time series, 97-51.

Much of the talk leading up to last December’s game was about the future of the series, as Murray’s Kennedy said WKU was not interested in continuing it.

McDonald countered by saying WKU was not completely closed to extending the rivalry, but that the Toppers would also pursue other scheduling opportunities.

But the series will now be preserved for the next four seasons.

“I commend all parties for seeing the collective benefit of continuing this series which originated 79 years ago,” WKU Director of Athletics Ross Bjork said in the release. “The WKU-Murray State rivalry has a storied history throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and it is great for both programs and our fan bases to continue this historic series.”

WKU said in the release that more information on the 2011-2012 schedule will be announced in the coming months.

Bjork told the Herald last Saturday that WKU may release certain games on the schedule as they become official.