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NKU, UC to Face Off in Men's Basketball in Three Straight Seasons

It will be the Norse versus the Bearcats in three consecutive seasons of men's basketball.

Northern Kentucky University and the University of Cincinnati announced a new series set to start in the 2022-23 season, with NKU hosting UC twice and UC hosting NKU once.

The first tip happens at BB&T Arena in Highland Heights on Nov. 16, 2022. They will meet in Cincinnati on Nov. 15, 2023, and then back in Highland Heights on Nov. 13, 2024.

“I appreciate and thank (UC Athletic Director) John Cunningham, as well as (NKU) Coach (Darrin) Horn and (UC) Coach (Wes) Miller for their work in establishing these dates for the future contests,” said Ken Bothof, Northern Kentucky director of athletics. “This year’s season-ticket holders will be the beneficiaries when we host UC during the 2022-23 season!”

“This is a great opportunity to play a local team with a storied history in front of our fans twice in the next three years,” said Horn. “I know Norse Nation will turn out to support our team, and our guys will certainly be ready to compete as well.”

The three games are part of an original agreement by the schools to play a four-game series, with each school hosting twice, that corresponded with Cincinnati using BB&T Arena as its home venue during the 2017-18 season while Fifth Third Arena at UC was undergoing renovations. NKU and UC met at the renovated venue during the 2018-19 campaign in the first of the four meetings.

The connection between the two programs run deeper than the temporary sharing of an arena a few seasons back. Former NKU head coach John Brannen was lured from Highland Heights to take over the UC program where he lasted for two seasons before being fired at the end of last season.

Brannen is suing UC.

-Staff report