Western Kentucky coach Rick Stansbury joins the Hilltoppers in a huddle at the beginning of WKU’s 65-54 win against Louisiana Tech on Feb. 6 at E.A. Diddle Arena.

The Western Kentucky men’s basketball team’s schedule will feature early-season matchups in Nebraska and Louisville.

The Hilltoppers returned signed agreements to play two games in Nebraska’s multi-team event and three games in Louisville’s bubble event, a source confirmed to the Daily News on Thursday.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the games have yet to be announced.

The games in Lincoln, Neb., are scheduled to be Nov. 25-26, and the Hilltoppers are expected to face LSU in one of its games in Nebraska.

For WKU, the Louisville bubble event will feature three games starting on Nov. 28 or later, and WKU is expected to play Louisville in one of those games.

Remaining matchups are still to be determined.

Seven teams had already committed to the event at the KFC Yum! Center – Louisville, Arkansas Little Rock, Duquesne, UNC Greensboro, Prairie View A&M, Southern Illinois and Winthrop – according to an Oct. 7 report from Shannon Russell of the Louisville Courier Journal. Louisville coach Chris Mack has said between eight and 12 teams are anticipated to take part, according to Russell.

The bubble will not consist of a tournament format, and not all teams are expected to play the same number of games.

The NCAA announced Sept. 16 that the college basketball season would be pushed back to a Nov. 25 start date.

The Hilltoppers were originally scheduled to open the season Nov. 10 at Louisville, and were scheduled to play in the Cayman Islands Classic Nov. 23-25. The event had been moved from John Gray Gymnasium in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, to Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Fla., before being officially canceled for 2020 on Sept. 30.

The rest of WKU’s schedule is still being finalized. On Tuesday, Conference USA announced it would move to an 18-game regular-season format for conference play, where schools will play two games per visit at four select C-USA schools and host four select teams for a two-game series, while playing a rival opponent one time home and away. Regular-season C-USA play is scheduled to begin Dec. 31.

– Follow sports reporter Jared MacDonald on Twitter @JMacDonaldSport or visit

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