2012 MW/MVC Challenge Pairings Announced

April 23, 2012

LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The Mountain West and Missouri Valley conferences have announced next season's pairings for the MW/MVC Challenge Series in men's basketball, and UNLV will host Northern Iowa on Wednesday, Dec. 19.

UNLV and UNI have only met once before in men's basketball, with the Panthers edging the Runnin' Rebels, 69-66, in the NCAA Tournament's first round on March 18, 2010, in Oklahoma City, Okla.

The Runnin' Rebels are 2-1 in the MW/MVC Challenge Series, defeating Southern Illinois, 78-69, on Nov. 21, 2009, at the Thomas & Mack Center, winning at Illinois State, 82-51, on Dec. 1, 2010, and falling at Wichita State, 89-70, on Dec. 4, 2011.

The agreement between the two conferences is in the final year of a four-year term. In each of the first two years, the Challenge featured head-to-head competition between nine MW and nine MVC teams, while last year's Challenge consisted of eight games. Nine matchups will make up the 2012 Challenge, with Mountain West teams hosting four of the contests. Seven of the nine games will take place the week of Nov. 28-Dec. 4, while the remaining two contests are scheduled for Nov. 17 and Dec. 19. Bradley will be the MVC team that does not participate in the 2012 Challenge Series.

The MW won the 2010 Challenge, 8-1, and holds a 16-10 lead in the first three years of the series after the two conferences split last year's matchups, 4-4. Last season, the leagues combined for six NCAA Tournament appearances and overall, the two conferences earned a collective 13 postseason berths and seven postseason victories in 2011-12.

2012 MW/MVC Challenge Series Schedule Nov. 17 - San Diego State at Missouri State (series tied, 2-2; last meeting 3/14/07) Nov. 28 - Boise State at Creighton (first meeting) Nov. 28 - Fresno State at Southern Illinois (SIU leads, 1-0; only meeting 3/9/66) Dec. 1 - Wichita State at Air Force (WSU leads, 1-0; only meeting 1/26/63) Dec. 1 - Evansville at Colorado State (first meeting) Dec. 1 - Drake at Nevada, Reno (Drake leads, 3-0; last meeting 12/16/69) Dec. 1 - New Mexico at Indiana State (first meeting) Dec. 4 - Wyoming at Illinois State (UW leads, 1-0; only meeting 12/28/85) Dec. 19 - Northern Iowa at UNLV (UNI leads, 1-0; only meeting 3/18/10)