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The Northerner

Big name school to play at NKU

Clayton Castle, Contributor

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Famed college basketball head coach Bob Huggins and his West Virginia Mountaineers of the Big 12 Conference will face the Norse men’s basketball team on Dec. 9 at the Bank of Kentucky Center, highlighting the Norse’s 2014-15 schedule.

“There’s something to be said for Coach Huggins, coming back to the Cincinnati area,” NKU Athletic Director Ken Bothof said. “Usually there is a relationship there when a Big 5 conference team travels to a mid-major conference school.”

Bothof cites the relationship between West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins and NKU Head

Coach Dave Bezold, as well as NKU assistant coach Kevin Schappell and Coach Huggins as the major factors in scheduling this matchup.

Huggins is the former longtime head coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats, where he spent 16 seasons and amassed a 398-126 record, according to his biography on the West Virginia Athletics Department website.

Kevin Schappell, assistant coach at NKU, was a graduate assistant for the Mountaineers during their 2010 run to the NCAA Tournament Final Four.

“Coach Huggins has been good to our program for a very long time,” Bezold said. “He’s been a mentor, he’s been a friend, he’s been all of it.”

According to Bezold, while Huggins was at Cincinnati, he would schedule NKU for an exhibition game every year.

“They were one of the best teams in the country at the time,” Bezold said.

This is a “2 for 1” deal with West Virginia, meaning the Norse will play two away games against West Virginia in exchange for one home game, according to Bothof.

Other highlights of the schedule include away matchups against three Big 10 Conference teams (Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Nebraska) and home matchups against North Carolina A&T, Idaho, and Toledo.

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Big name school to play at NKU