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Tuesday Headlines: Helping Western Kentucky Edition

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The entire state continues to make an impact.

Syndication: The Courier-Journal PAULA OSPINA/ The Jackson Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

The state of Kentucky continues to amaze with their outpour of support for the tornado victims in Western Kentucky. After the Louisville Cardinals were forced to pull out of their game against the Kentucky Wildcats on Wednesday due to COVID protocols, Kentucky tirelessly worked the phones to find a replacement for their primetime matchup.

While there were initial reports of Bellarmine as Louisville’s replacement, there were also rumblings of Gonzaga — last year’s runner-up in the National Championship — potentially coming to Rupp Arena. However, neither ended up being the team that Kentucky will play as a replacement. In fact, Kentucky will play the second best team in the state Wednesday night.

Matt Norlander first reported the Wildcats will face the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Wednesday at 6 PM Eastern. Coverage will be provided by ESPN and the two programs will work together in orchestrating tornado relief funds for the western region of the state.

WKU followed up with a confirmation that they indeed canceled their game with Austin Peay on Wednesday night to make this charitable opportunity happen while also giving themselves a chance to go play Kentucky at Rupp Arena.

Kentucky’s Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart took to Twitter to express his comments on Kentucky having to work through finding opponents for back-to-back games (UNC this past weekend in the CBS Sports Classic). While Kentucky won’t play their in-state rival during the week of Christmas, the charitable cause of the game largely outweighs the expected beatdown the Wildcats were ready to hand the Cardinals.

The last time Kentucky faced Western Kentucky was in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Kentucky of course won the matchup, 81-66, en route to their title run with Anthony Davis and company.

Tweet of the Day

Why are field goals not a priority for some teams anymore?

Headlines

Cats to face WKU as replacement opponent for Louisville - Cats Illustrated

It’s not Louisville... but the cause is more important than the game.

Scott Davenport says UK will play Bellarmine in 2022-23 - Kentucky Sports Radio

This is excellent for the Bellarmine program.

Will Levis tweet hints at return to Kentucky for 2022 - Cats Illustrated

This was incredible news.

John Robic no longer with UK basketball, wife announces - Kentucky Sports Radio

Sad & surprised to hear this.

Calipari wants his team to have a good heart like Mookie Betts has - Vaught’s Views

This was a cool story from Saturday’s press conference.

Disciplined Iowa defense will be tough challenge for UK - Kentucky Sports Radio

Especially without Josh Ali and Isaiah Epps.

UK has precedent of players not opting out of bowl game - Vaught’s Views

Winning culture.

Cal also spoke with Gonzaga, Texas and OSU before WKU - Kentucky Sports Radio

Gonzaga in Rupp Arena would’ve been an incredible moment.