Near, far, wherever you are you can hear the chants from Bowling Green. “We want Kentucky!”
This morning the University of Kentucky announced the addition of two new opponents to the nonconference schedule. UAB and Marshall, two Conference-USA programs, will play at Rupp Arena in December. The Commonwealth’s C-USA program, Western Kentucky, offered to to join the party on UK’s nonconference schedule.
“If you’re making the C-USA tour, give us a call back sometime! We’re ready and right down the road,” WKU Tweeted from their official men’s basketball account. But wait, there’s more!
Oh, and our previous offer for these dates still stands. Play us and we'll give the full guarantee check to charity to help within our state. https://t.co/WXfdxdPxJT
— WKU Hilltopper Basketball (@WKUBasketball) July 7, 2020
The two teams have only played six times since 1971. The Wildcats most recently defeated the Hilltoppers 81-66 in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. They have not played in the regular season since Patrick Sparks and the Hilltoppers handed Tubby Smith’s fourth-ranked Wildcats a 64-52 loss at Rupp Arena in 2001.
If the Wildcats accept WKU’s offer, they should strengthen Kentucky’s schedule. Rick Stansbury’s squad finished tied for second in the C-USA in 2020. This year they return two former Kentucky Mr. Basketballs, Taveion Hollingsworth and Carson Williams, and former top five recruit Charles Bassey, who suffered a season-ending injury last December.
Do you think Mitch Barnhart and John Calipari should accept the Toppers’ offer?
UPDATE (2:20 p.m.)
UK confirmed to KSR that the school has been in talks with Western Kentucky University about a basketball game in the future, however, that will not happen this year.
“Our nonconference schedule is complete for this upcoming season but we will continue to discuss scheduling opportunities with WKU for future seasons,” said a UK spokesman.