Pairings Set for 2011 MWC/MVC Challenge in Men's Basketball
Mountain West won the 2010 Challenge, 8-1
Jan. 28, 2011
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Mountain West Conference and Missouri Valley Conference have announced next season's pairings for the MWC/MVC Challenge Series in men's basketball.
The agreement between the Mountain West and Missouri Valley conferences is in its third year of a four-year term. In each of the previous two years, the Challenge featured head-to-head competition between nine Mountain West and nine Missouri Valley teams. Due to membership changes in the Mountain West Conference, the 2011 Challenge will consist of eight games, with each conference hosting four games. All eight contests will take place the week of Nov. 30-Dec. 4, 2011. Illinois State and Southern Illinois will be the MVC teams that do not participate in the 2011 Challenge Series. However, future MWC member Fresno State will host Illinois State in a non-conference contest on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. Fresno State becomes a member of the Mountain West in 2012-13.
Pairings are made in two-year cycles with no team having two-straight road or two-straight home games during that two-year period. In the 2011 and 2012 challenges, every team that participates will receive one road and one home game.
The Mountain West won the 2010 series, 8-1, and holds a 12-6 lead in the first two years of the Challenge. Last season, the leagues combined for four NCAA Tournament victories, which included first-round wins by BYU and New Mexico, and a Sweet 16 appearance by Northern Iowa. Overall, the two conferences earned a collective 11 postseason berths and 10 postseason wins.
The Mountain West and Missouri Valley have combined to place nine teams in the Top 100 of this season's RPI, including five in the Top 50. Two institutions (San Diego State-4; BYU-9) are currently ranked in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Top-25 Coaches polls, while two others (UNLV, Missouri State) are receiving votes.
The Mountain West has ranked among the Top 10 in the NCAA's final RPI report in 10 of the last 11 years, while the Valley has been among the Top 9 in each of the last six. Teams from the two leagues have squared off 58 times since the inception of the Mountain West in 1999, with MWC teams holding a 33-25 edge in those contests.
About the Mountain West Conference
About the Missouri Valley Conference The Missouri Valley Conference continues to lead by example as one of college athletics' most progressive conferences. The Valley emphasizes the importance of the student-athlete and is aggressive in its approach to provide opportunities for its member institutions. Founded in 1907, the Missouri Valley Conference is the nation's second-oldest NCAA Division I conference and continues to be a leader in college athletics. League members include Bradley University, Creighton University, Drake University, the University of Evansville, Illinois State University, Indiana State University, Missouri State University, the University of Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois University, and Wichita State University.