When asked what kind of opportunity it represented for the Mountaineers to host Kentucky, Huggins couldn’t resist ribbing his friend, Kentucky Coach John Calipari and Big Blue Nation.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for Cal to come to Morgantown,” Huggins said. “Why is it such a great opportunity for us? Why isn’t it a great opportunity for them?”
Kentucky will play West Virginia in Morgantown for the first time since 1970 and for only the third time in series history on Jan. 27 as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Kentucky is 15-5 against West Virginia all-time and has hosted the Mountaineers 12 times, including a stint where West Virginia made regular trips to the UKIT between 1958 and 1965. Kentucky won the most recent matchup, 78-39, in a 2015 NCAA Tournament game in Cleveland.
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“It’s a big game because of the proximity of the two schools and the fact that as close as we’ve been, we haven’t played in a long, long time,” Huggins added. “So, I think from that standpoint, it is (a big game), but I don’t think we’re in awe of anybody.”
“And Cal’s my buddy. I’ve known Cal since Cal was in high school. To say I’m in awe of Cal would probably be overstated,” Huggins joked.