Bowling Green, Ky. — Western Kentucky University announced times for the 2007-08 men’s basketball season Thursday, with the Hilltoppers slated to play all but four contests in the evening.
The regular season tips off Nov. 9 with an 8:30 p.m. (CST) game against Kennesaw State, the first of three in a row for the Toppers at E.A. Diddle Arena. WKU will also play Kentucky Wesleyan Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. while taking on Murray State in the BB&T Classic at noon Nov. 17 prior to the football team’s Senior Day contest against Morehead State.
The Hilltoppers will then open the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout against Gonzaga Nov. 22 at 10:30 p.m., with games the next two days at the event depending on the result of that contest. After a week off following the tournament, WKU will then visit Northern Arizona on Dec. 1 at 3:30 p.m.
The Toppers’ two home games prior to Christmas — against Nebraska Dec. 5 and North Carolina Central on Dec. 18 — will begin at 7 p.m. They will also visit Eastern Kentucky at 6 p.m. Dec. 8, take on Tennessee Dec. 15 at 8:30 p.m. in Nashville in the second of two games at the Sun Belt Classic, and travel to Southern Illinois Dec. 22 at 2:05 p.m. prior to the holidays.
Sun Belt Conference action begins with a 7 p.m. tip at Troy on Dec. 29, while the first game of 2008 will be at home against Middle Tennessee at 7 p.m. Jan. 2.
WKU will also have 7 p.m. home games in the month against Florida International (Jan. 12), Florida Atlantic (Jan. 16) and UALR (Jan. 31), and it will also play host to Arkansas State at 2 p.m. on Jan. 27. The Hilltoppers will hit the road to face South Alabama Jan. 5 at 7:05 p.m., Louisiana-Monroe at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10, Louisiana-Lafayette Jan. 19 at 7:05 p.m. and New Orleans on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. in the first month of the new year.
A 7 p.m. meeting with Denver Feb. 2 will close out a three-game homestand before WKU visits defending SBC Tournament champion North Texas Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. After returning to Diddle Arena to take on Troy at 7 p.m. on Feb. 13, the Hilltoppers will visit Middle Tennessee Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. They will then close out the home portion of the schedule with 7 p.m. contests against South Alabama and UL-Monroe.
The regular-season concludes with a two-game road trip to face FIU Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m. and FAU at 6 p.m. on March 1.
First-round Sun Belt Tournament games will take place on March 5 at campus sites — the top three seeds will get a bye — before the eight remaining teams meet in Mobile March 9-11 to determine the league’s NCAA Tournament automatic qualifier.
Both of the Hilltoppers’ preseason exhibition contests — against Campbellsville Nov. 1 and Kentucky State Nov. 5 — will tip off at 7 p.m. as well. WKU will also take part in a Red-White scrimmage at 7 p.m. on Oct. 25, with a “Meet The Toppers” autograph session beginning at 6:30 p.m. prior to the event.