The Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) men’s basketball team hosts Western Kentucky University (WKU) on Thursday, Nov. 10 in Baptist Health Arena for the “Battle of the Bluegrass”. Since 1991, WKU leads the series 11-1.
EKU’s most recent win against the Hilltoppers came in the 2016-2017 season when the Colonels topped the Tops, 78-59, in Richmond.
Playing WKU is a staple for EKU every year, usually highlighting one of the first games of the season.
“It’s going to be awesome,” said head coach A.W. Hamilton.
Students at EKU will camp in Alumni Coliseum in the auxiliary gym on Wednesday night for the WKU game.
“They’re going to do a huge pep rally, there’s going to be food, there's going to be games, there's going to be a DJ, I mean, it's going to be electric in here for our student body on Wednesday. It’s something that we’ve never done. When’s the last time you saw students camp out before a game? If you’re a student and you’re reading this, you gotta do it. This is it,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton believes the Maroon Platoon sponsored camp-in will help get students excited for the rivalry game, and bring in more students than before.
“You see this stuff happen (at bigger schools), but listen, this is happening at Eastern. It’s going to be an incredible environment,” said Hamilton.
EKU’s rivalry with WKU dates back decades, but has strengthened in recent years. Hamilton said the game is one of the biggest the team will play this season, but he encourages everyone involved to have fun.
“Obviously it's a big game, we’re playing Western Kentucky. We’re Eastern, they’re Western. Throw it up, let’s play, and let’s have some fun and see what happens,” said Hamilton.
On Thursday morning, Kentucky Sports Radio will host their show live from McBrayer Court beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Junior Michael Moreno recalls playing WKU last season in Bowling Green, and has high hopes for this season. He said the “electric” environment in Alumni Coliseum helps hype up the team.
“The attendance… it feels a lot larger than that. The way the ceiling is, the acoustics of it.1,000 (fans) can feel like 5,000 (fans) if they are loud enough. The energy that the crowd brings is huge. We feed off of that because we can play up tempo and get excited. It's just what we do,” said Moreno.
The Colonels are slated for a 7 p.m. tip off at Baptist Health Arena at Alumni Coliseum on Nov. 10 against the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky. The contest will be televised on ESPN+ and aired on WCYO 100.7 FM.