BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Nine home games and at least five contests against 20-win
programs from a year ago highlight the Western Kentucky men’s basketball team’s
2017-18 nonconference schedule, as announced Tuesday by head coach Rick Stansbury.
The Hilltoppers will play seven regular-season home games and two exhibitions in
nonconference action, and they won’t travel for a true road game until Dec. 10.
Including the Conference USA portion of the schedule, which was previously announced
in July, WKU will play 18 total home games this season.
See the full schedule here.
“This is a very challenging schedule with a lot of good home games and great
opportunities on the road against some of the better teams in the country,”
Stansbury said. “Hopefully, the mixture of both will help prepare our team for
conference play and give our fans an opportunity to create an exciting home
atmosphere by selling out Diddle Arena.”
The Hilltoppers will play their first five contests of the year in E.A. Diddle
Arena, starting with exhibitions against Campbellsville on Nov. 1 and Cumberland
University on Nov. 7.
WKU beat Campbellsville 87-79 in its opening exhibition last season. Campbellsville
is Stansbury’s alma mater where he was a four-year letterman and got his coaching
start as a student assistant. Stansbury received Campbellsville’s Distinguished
Alumni Award in 1999 and was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in
Cumberland is coached by Lonnie Thompson, the father of WKU graduate senior guard
WKU opens the regular season in Bowling Green against Missouri State on Nov. 10,
followed by home games against Kentucky Wesleyan on Nov. 15 and Nicholls State on
The Hilltoppers leave the following week for the prestigious Battle 4 Atlantis
tournament in Paradise Islands, Bahamas.
WKU will open the event against 2016 national champion Villanova on Nov. 22, which
finished last season with a 32-4 record and third in the RPI.
WKU and Villanova have met only once before in the 1971 Final Four, a matchup the
Wildcats won 92-89 in double overtime.
The Hilltoppers are guaranteed to play two more games in the Bahamas on Nov. 23-24
and will face either Purdue or Tennessee in their second game on Nov. 23. Arizona,
SMU, NC State and Northern Iowa are also competing, and all but UNI finished 2016-17
in the top 150 of the RPI.
After WKU returns to the states, it’ll host Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 29 and Wright
State on Dec. 2. EKU and Hilltoppers have played 156 times dating back to 1914-15,
with WKU holding a 112-44 edge. WKU’s 112 victories are its most against any
The Hilltoppers finally hit the road on Dec. 10 with a trip to Ohio, followed by a
quick swing to Wisconsin on Dec. 13. The Badgers finished 27-10 last season and 30th
in the RPI.
Wisconsin will return to E.A. Diddle Arena in 2018-19.
Home games against Indiana State (Dec. 16) and Belmont (Dec. 19) follow before the
Hilltoppers wrap the nonconference slate Dec. 22 at Austin Peay.
Missouri State, Nicholls State and Wright State are first-time opponents for WKU.
Villanova, Wright State, Ohio, Wisconsin and Belmont all finished with at least 20
wins and in the top 150 of the RPI last season. WKU has a chance to add to the
strength of its schedule with the tough Battle 4 Atlantis field.
The Hilltoppers begin the previously announced C-USA schedule Dec. 28 at home
against LA Tech.
Home games against five of the top seven finishers in the league last season
highlight the conference play portion of the schedule. The Hilltoppers will play
home-and-home series with 2017 C-USA regular-season and tournament champion Middle
Tennessee and third-place Old Dominion, in addition to hosting second-place LA
The C-USA Tournament will take place March 7-10 at Ford Center at The Star in
C-USA’s television partners could still ask for date changes to accommodate
broadcast schedules. Game times will be announced at a later date.
The Hilltoppers are 584-166 all-time at Diddle Arena and are one of the nation’s
most storied programs. WKU ranks third in NCAA history in regular-season league
titles (42), seventh in 20-win seasons (43), ninth in all-time winning percentage
(.660) and 18th in all-time wins (1,748).
Season Tickets Now Available: Hilltopper Basketball season tickets are available now
and going fast! Call 1-800-5-BIGRED or visit WKUTickets.com for more information and
How to follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper
Basketball, follow the team’s social media channels, @WKUBasketball on Twitter,
@WKUBasketball on Instagram, and WKU Basketball on Facebook.