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The 7th Greatest Basketball Program In The South: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on April 25, 2008

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

Location: Bowling Green, Kentucky

Nickname: Hilltoppers

Reason For Nickname: The location of Western Kentucky University, which is located on a hill in Bowling Green.

Colors: Red and White

Conference: Sun Belt

Arena: E.A. Diddle Arena (built 1963, capacity 14,277)

Postseason Appearances:

NCAA Tournament Appearances: 20 Appearances, one Final Four.

NIT Appearances:13 Appearances, three Final Fours

Conference Championships: 39 Conference Championships, including Sun Belt Regular-Season Champions in 1987, 1994, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2006 as well as Tournament Champions in 1993, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2008.

Coaching Legacy: The legendary E.A. Diddle, for whom Diddle Arena is named for, led the Hilltoppers to great success in basketball for four decades. His 759 wins is among the highest for a men’s basketball coach in NCAA history.

Big Man On Campus: Campbellsville native Clem Haskins is known best for his role in the Minnesota scandals of the 1990’s, but prior to that he was among one of the first African-Americans to play college basketball in the South at Western Kentucky. In the 1980’s, he returned to Bowling Green to coach the Hilltoppers to considerable success.

Rivalries: The Hilltoppers held for many years a heated rivalry with Murray State as members of the Ohio Valley Conference. After joining the Sun Belt, the Hilltoppers continued their rivalry with MIddle Tennessee, which started while the Blue Raiders were members of the Ohio Valley Conference.

Did You Know?: Western Kentucky was the first team to ever win 30 games in a season, back in 1937-38 under Coach Diddle.

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3 Responses to “The 7th Greatest Basketball Program In The South: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers”

  1. Matt said

    Good work, as usual Doc.

    We may agree to disagree though. WKU is the trendy pick this year because of their run, but it would be tough to put them this high accordingly when right behind them NC State is sitting with some more prestigious hardware…

  2. The General said

    hating on the braves, then the hilltoppers….next you will hit the titans and finally move on to the cats….i wonder whats in the natty and beast they are distributing in richmond…

  3. Matt said

    LOL — I met a guy from “western Kentucky” today and he, too, was a Braves fan. Must be some sort of propaganda floating around Bowling Green.

    On a side note, the Best has never tasted better than it does in Richmond…

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