The eight ranked Wildcats suit up today, to go against the unranked Monmouth Hawks in Madison Square Garden. Now I know at first when you hear the name “Monmouth” you really don’t know what to think. But through a little bit of research, I’ve hopefully found a little bit of information that will help the causal fan get some more understanding of Kentucky’s opponent.
1. Their Head Coach Was Point Guard For UNC
If you ever needed a reason to cheer against Monmouth, let it be this one. Monmouth head coach King Rice was the former starting point guard at North Carolina. Coming out of high school he was a McDonalds All-American and went on to go play for legendary coach Dean Smith. While playing for Dean Smith and the Tar Heels, he went to four straight Sweeet Sixteen appearances and eventually helped lead the team to a Final Four in 1991.
2. They Are Back to Back Regular Season Conference Champions
Although they may not be a household name, Monmouth has been one of the best mid-major basketball teams the past couple years. They’ve barely missed the NCAA Tourney the past two years, but have gotten an invitation to the NIT both times. Last year they played fellow SEC team Ole Miss where they were narrowly defeated 91-83, so look for this team to not back down from a blue chip program like Kentucky.
3. Its Located in West Long Branch, New Jersey
Monmouth is located in West Long Branch, New Jersey. Which is a 2.9 square mile borough in Monmouth County. With a population of barely 8,000 residents, its safe to say that not too many people have ever been to West Long Branch.
4. It Was Founded In 1933 As a Junior College
It was founded in 1933, what more can I say.
5. Bob Marley Did One of His Last Interviews With Their College Radio Station
The college radio station at Monmouth University WMCX-FM, is believed by many to have done one of the very last interviews with legendary reggae artist Bob Marley. Jeffrey Steinberg, a WMCX deejay in 1981, had spoken to the reggae great by phone a week earlier. They are also the first United States media outlet that announced his death.
Although this fact is completely unrelated to basketball, its honestly the only other thing I could find on Monmouth. So lets just take care of work today and get the “W” so we never have to talk about Monmouth ever again.