UK & EKU Men's Basketball Teams To Meet Again in 2015-16
The men's basketball teams from the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University will play for the second straight year during the 2015-16 season. The contest will be played on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at Rupp Arena in Lexington.
The game time will be determined at a later date.
New Eastern Kentucky head coach Dan McHale will be facing his alma mater for the first time.
“It will be special to take a team into Rupp Arena for the first time as a head coach,” McHale said. “I met my wife and a lot of special people that are still very close to me while I was a student at UK. Between now and then I won’t be thinking much about that, my effort will be spent every day on getting our Eastern Kentucky team ready to win all 31 games on the schedule.”
The two teams, separated by less than 30 miles, played on the hardwood just once before 1990, but have met 10 times since the 1990-91 season.
The Wildcats and Colonels faced each other last season on Dec. 7, 2014 in Lexington. No. 1 UK won that game 82-49. Eastern scored more points against Kentucky than Kansas, Providence, West Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Missouri and UCLA.
Kentucky won its first 38 games of this past season and spent much of the campaign as the No. 1 team in the nation before falling to Wisconsin in the 2015 Final Four.
Eastern Kentucky went 21-12 in 2014-15 and made its third straight appearance in a national postseason tournament. Eastern finished first in the Ohio Valley Conference East Division and the Colonels have finished in the Top 3 in the conference each of the last three seasons.
Last December, the Colonels beat No. 18 Miami by 28 points, 72-44, on the road. Eastern held the Hurricanes to 29 percent shooting and out-scored Miami 20-2 off turnovers.
EKU led the nation in turnover margin (+7.2) in 2014-15 and has ranked in the top-5 in that category each of the last three seasons. Against these eight teams – Kentucky, Miami, Illinois, West Virginia, North Carolina State, VCU, Wisconsin and Kansas -- combined the last three seasons, Eastern has committed 29 fewer turnovers (86-115) and has out-scored these teams 120-87 off turnovers (+33).