Eastern Kentucky University and Western Kentucky University will renew their men’s basketball rivalry beginning with the 2015-16 season and face off each of the next four seasons, it was announced by both schools on Wednesday, May 20.
The four-game, home-and-home series will begin Tuesday, Dec. 1 in Bowling Green. The Hilltoppers will then come to Richmond during the 2016-17 season, and again in 2018-19.
“We are excited to renew our rivalry with WKU,” EKU coach Dan McHale said. “Anytime we can play one of the other teams in the state it just enhances our brand and shows the passion that Kentuckians have for college basketball. Coach Harper's Hilltoppers are well coached and we look forward to keeping this rivalry going for many years to come.”
The two teams last played each other on Dec. 8, 2007 in Richmond. That game was the final in a four-game series that began in 2004. The current seven-year stretch without playing is the second longest period the two teams have gone without meeting. The two rivals went 10 seasons without playing each other from 1994 to 2004.
Eastern and Western have met 155 times, including every season from 1926-27 until WKU left the Ohio Valley Conference following the 1981-82 season.
“I want to thank our good friends Coach Ray Harper and Director of Athletics Todd Stewart at WKU for recognizing the significance of this series to our basketball programs, but more importantly to our fans,” Eastern Kentucky Director of Athletics Steve Lochmueller said. “There has been great athletic tradition between these two outstanding Universities and I am proud to have been a small part of re-establishing this series.”
WKU Basketball Coach Ray Harper
Photo by Joshua Lindsey/WKU Athletics