NCAA Men’s Basketball 2021: Rice vs WKU

Western Kentucky’s Luke Frampton drives to the basket during last season’s game against Rice at E.A. Diddle Arena.

Western Kentucky’s first opponent for a multi-team event in Asheville, N.C., has been announced.

The Hilltoppers will open the Asheville Championship against Minnesota on Nov. 12 at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center, WKU announced in a release Wednesday.

The inaugural event will be Nov. 12-14, and WKU will follow its game against Minnesota with a matchup against South Carolina or Princeton on Nov. 14.

Game times will be announced at a later date, and all games of the event will air on the ESPN family of networks.

WKU is 0-2 all-time against Minnesota, with the last meeting coming in Minneapolis in the 2014 NIT Season Tip-Off. The Hilltoppers are 13-21 all-time against the current Big Ten membership. Minnesota went 14-15 overall last season and 6-14 in Big Ten play.

The Hilltoppers are 9-6 overall against teams from the Power Five conferences over the last four seasons.

The Hilltoppers are 1-6 all-time against South Carolina, most recently falling 87-85 in double overtime at E.A. Diddle Arena in the return of former WKU head coach Darrin Horn. The Gamecocks went 6-15 overall last year and 4-11 in SEC play.

WKU has only played Princeton once, winning 59-45 in the Hoosier Classic in Indianapolis in 1993. Princeton did not play last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hilltoppers have also added a Nov. 24 home game against Alabama A&M to its nonconference schedule, a source told the Daily News on Wednesday. WKU is 3-0 all-time against the Bulldogs, with the most recent meeting a 79-70 Hilltopper victory on Dec. 16, 2015. WKU head coach Rick Stansbury is 4-0 all-time in his career against Alabama A&M. The Bulldogs went 6-9 overall last season and 4-9 in Southwestern Athletic Conference play.

WKU’s full nonconference schedule has not been officially announced, and the only other game the program has announced as part of its nonconference slate is a Dec. 11 meeting with Ole Miss at the Holiday Hoopsgiving event in Atlanta.

The Hilltoppers will open the 2021-22 season Nov. 9 against Alabama State at E.A. Diddle Arena, a source told the Daily News on July 8. In November, WKU is also set to play at Memphis and host UT Martin, according to the source. The game against Memphis is scheduled Nov. 19 and the UT Martin game is scheduled Nov. 27.{&end}

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