There will be lots of blue and red tonight at Rupp Arena and two schools, both located in Lexington will square off in a meeting 100 years in the making. The Pioneers of Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky Wildcats will meet at center court at 7:00 pm; the match-up billed as “The Battle on Broadway”’. Coach Cal says, “If UK loses it will be another 100 years before we meet again” on his Facebook page noting the rivalry between these schools, although they are in different conferences and divisions. The Pioneers play in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) in the NCAA Division III. The Pioneers will have their hands full with the No.2 ranked Wildcats as the season starts for Kentucky.
Transylvania and Kentucky met a total of 14 times each school with 7 wins in the series, first meeting in 1903. Tonight’s brawl will put someone on top. The Wildcats are slightly favored over the Pioneers for the win, but Pioneer head Coach Brian Lane says, “we just want to play hard and help them get ready for their season”. Don’t let Kentucky’s pre-season standing at No.2 fool you. The Pioneers were picked to win the HCAC Conference by league coaches’ pre-season poll and went 18-9 last season. The excitement grows as Transy gets a chance to play in the big time, against a Div. I school. To the Transy fans UK is just another school down the road aways.
The Pioneers are back home after a disappointing road trip to Canada where they went 66-62 over University of Calgary, 71-76 in a loss to University of Windsor(ONT), and 63-72 in the trip closer against The University of Western Ontario ending the stint with a 1-2 record. The Transy boys will be a force on the floor as Guards Trey Buettel and Matthew Clevenger with Forward Jimi Starks put up serious points for TU on the road. The Wildcats, on the other hand are fresh off the Blue-White game where the Blue team took the win for the 10th consecutive year. The Blue team had the leadership of Terrance Jones, Jarrod Polson, Doron Lamb, and Eloy Vargas as incoming freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist rounded out the starting five with Ryan Harrow and Brian Long on the bench. The White team didn’t look too shabby as their roster of Darius Miller, Anthony Davis, Stacey Poole, Marcus Teague and Kyle Wiltjer started the campaign with Twany Beckham and Sam Malone reserved on the sidelines.
The affair in Lexington is expected to bring higher than normal crowds for the first exhibition game for Kentucky. The majority of fans, of course live in and around Lexington for both schools and many alums will be in attendance to see this historical match up. Tickets for tonight’s contest are still available at the box office and online. The short trip down the road to Rupp is a no-brainer for students at both schools-regardless of exams scheduled in the morning. Bring your Blue and your Red-see you in Lexington tonight!
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