Tonight, at 7:00 p.m. inside the Cam Henderson Center, these two storied basketball programs will renew their rivalry on the court. Off the court, however, things got a 24-hour head start when several UCF player tweets sparked some spirited back-and-forth.
Part of the bad blood between these teams can be traced to current UCF head coach Donnie Jones. Jones used to be the head coach for Marshall, before leaving the program for the greener pastures of Central Florida. Marshall fans now refer to him as "Benedict Donald." It's intense.
So intense, actually, that people went a little crazy when some UCF players incredulously tweeted pictures of their shoddy hotel accommodations. Chuck McGill, a Marshall beat writer, compiled a nice synopsis of the whole thing. Players tweeted pictures of tube televisions, peeling wallpaper, empty vending machines and a handwritten sign announcing their presence.
Can you imagine? Not having a flat screen in the free hotel room you stay in the night before you play basketball for a school, most likely, that is paying for your "education"? And no snacks in the vending machine? Just what, exactly, are these guys supposed to spend their stipends on, then?
Things quickly turned ugly as UCF fans took gratuitous out house shots at West Virginia only to have the good name of their hospitality management program questioned. With all the pregame fireworks, this game is shaping up to be the Duke-North Carolina of Florida-West Virginia college basketball rivalries.
UCF student-athletes create Twitter firestorm [Chuck McGill]
UCF coach Donnie Jones, players prepare for hostile rivalry game at Marshall [Orlando Sentinel]