WKU Hilltoppers Announce full 2020-21 Non-Conference Schedule
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — After a complete overhaul of the schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WKU Hilltopper Basketball announced Friday its nine-game non-conference slate, including four games in E.A. Diddle Arena in December.
The Hilltoppers will welcome Campbellsville, Rhode Island, Tennessee Tech and Mississippi Valley State to Diddle Arena in the final month of 2020 after a tough five-game stretch in two different bubble events to open the season.
WKU will open the campaign 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 being finalized.
The Hilltoppers will then travel directly 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, a longtime former league rival for the Tops, went 21-10 a year ago.
The Hilltoppers have two days off before taking on Louisville on Dec. 1 for a true road game that will count toward the teams’ ongoing four-year series. The Cardinals are slated to return to E.A. Diddle Arena in the 2021-22 season before hosting WKU for another game at the Yum! Center in 2022-23.
Louisville leads the all-time series 41-39, including a 71-54 victory last season in Nashville that propelled the Cardinals to a No. 1 national ranking. They finished 24-7 with a NET ranking of 8 a year ago before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
WKU closes play in Louisville against 2020 SWAC champion Prairie View A&M (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, WKU welcomes Rhode Island to Diddle Arena for the first time ever. The Hilltoppers dropped an 86-82 overtime thriller on the road to the Rams last season in their first game without injured center Charles Bassey.
Rhode Island finished 2019-20 with a 21-9 record and 57 NET ranking.
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.
The WKU athletic department has worked collaboratively with campus leadership, the Governor’s office and other officials to craft a safe experience for home games in Diddle Arena. 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.