Hilltoppers Basketball announces 2021-22 Schedule highlighted by 18 home games

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A record-tying 18 home games and five non-conference contests against teams that finished in the top 90 of last year’s NET rankings highlight WKU Hilltopper Basketball’s full 2021-22 schedule released Thursday.

“This is one of the most challenging schedules we’ve had, but at the same time, it presents lots of great opportunities,” WKU head coach Rick Stansbury said. “All of those challenges will help prepare us for conference play and competing for another championship. We can’t wait to have Diddle Arena back at full capacity this season, and there’s no better way to welcome back Hilltopper Nation than with a record number of home games in front of a packed house. We also hope to see our fans on the road this season for several marquee games within driving distance in our region.”

The Hilltoppers will play at E.A. Diddle Arena nine times before the start of Conference USA, including two exhibitions and seven regular season contests.

WKU’s 18 home games are tied for the most in program history for a schedule heading into the season. The home non-conference slate is highlighted by games against in-state foes Louisville and Eastern Kentucky, as well as fellow 2021 NIT participant Buffalo.

WKU still has room to add one more game to the non-conference schedule moving forward.

WKU will open the season with exhibitions against Stansbury’s alma mater Campbellsville on Nov. 1 and the University of the Cumberlands on Nov. 5. The schools also represent Stansbury’s first two coaching jobs as a student assistant and graduate assistant.

The Hilltoppers open the regular season in Diddle Arena against Alabama State on Nov. 9 before embarking on three difficult games away from home.

WKU will play two games in the 2021 Asheville Championship on Nov. 12 and 14 in Asheville, N.C., starting against Big Ten foe Minnesota on Nov. 12. The Tops will then face SEC opponent South Carolina or Princeton in their second game on Nov. 14.

WKU will stay on the road for a Nov. 19 trip to Memphis, projected to start the season in the Top 10 in the nation. The Tigers were last year’s NIT champions, although WKU defeated Memphis 75-69 last November in the semifinals of the Crossover Classic.

WKU then returns home for six of its next seven games, including four in a row at Diddle Arena.

That stretch begins with Alabama A&M (Nov. 24) and UT Martin (Nov. 27). The Hilltoppers will then host Eastern Kentucky on Dec. 4, marking the 159th all-time meeting in the series that dates back to the program’s first season in 1914.

WKU will conclude the homestand with its first-ever meeting against Buffalo on Dec. 8. The Tops will return the game in the 2023-24 season.

The Hilltoppers next head to Atlanta to take on the SEC’s Ole Miss in the Holiday Hoopsgiving event at State Farm Arena. That matchup is set for 7:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network.

WKU comes back home to face Centre College, the alma mater of legendary Hilltopper coach E.A. Diddle, on Dec. 14 before a massive clash with Louisville on Dec. 18. This will mark just the third time that WKU has hosted the Cardinals in Bowling Green since 1990, and the first time overall since 2014.

The Hilltoppers conclude non-conference action at Austin Peay on Dec. 22.

WKU’s Conference USA schedule has been previously announced and begins with a road swing to Southern Miss on Dec. 30 and Louisiana Tech on Jan. 1. The full 2021-22 schedule can be found at the following link: https://goto.ps/3ffx6bA

C-USA’s television partners could still ask for date changes to accommodate broadcast schedules. Game times and full TV information will be announced at a later date.