COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Boise State will come to Omaha for the first time when Creighton Men's Basketball hosts the Broncos on Nov. 28 as part of the fourth annual Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge Series. Pairings for the 2012 event were announced today.
The agreement between the Mountain West and Missouri Valley 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 Mountain West and nine Missouri Valley teams, while last year’s Challenge consisted of eight games. Nine matchups will make up the 2012 Challenge, with Missouri Valley teams hosting five of the contests. Seven of the nine games will take place the week of Nov. 28-Dec. 4 while the remaining two are scheduled for Nov. 17 and Dec. 19. Bradley will be the MVC team that does not participate in the 2012 Challenge Series.
The conferences split last year’s matchups, 4-4, but the Mountain West won the 2010 Challenge, 8-1, and holds a 16-10 lead in the first three years of the series. The MVC won the 2009 Challenge, 5-4.
Last season, the leagues combined for six NCAA tournament appearances, which included second-
round wins by New Mexico and Creighton. Overall, the two conferences earned a collective 13 postseason berths and seven postseason victories in 2011-12.
The Mountain West has ranked among the Top 9 in the NCAA’s final RPI report in 12 of the last 13 years, including two straight No. 5 rankings, while the Missouri Valley has been among the Top 9 in seven of the last eight years, ranking as high as No. 6 on two occasions. Teams from the two leagues have squared off 67 times since the inception of the Mountain West in 1999, with MW squads holding a 38-29 edge in those contests.
The Mountain West and Missouri Valley combined to place nine teams in the Top 100 of the RPI last season, including six in the Top 50. Two teams (Creighton-21; New Mexico-23) finished in the 2011-12 final USA Today/ESPN Top-25 Coaches’ poll, while three more (San Diego State, UNLV, Wichita State) joined the Bluejays and Lobos in the final Associated Press poll released prior to the NCAA tournament.
Boise State finished last season 13-17, including wins over MVC schools Drake and Indiana State, as well as Utah and Colorado State.
Creighton finished the 2011-12 season with a 29-6 record, tying a school-record for wins. The Bluejays are expected to return nine of their top 10 scorers next fall for coach Greg McDermott's third season. Creighton's complete 2012-13 schedule will likely be announced in late August.
About the Mountain West Conference
From its inception in 1999, the Mountain West has been committed to excellence in intercollegiate athletics, while promoting the academic missions of its member institutions. Progressive in its approach, the MW continues to cultivate opportunities for student-athletes to compete at the highest level and foster academic achievement and sportsmanship. Mountain West membership in 2012-13 will include the United States Air Force Academy, Boise State University, Colorado State University, Fresno State, University of Nevada, University of New Mexico, San Diego State University, UNLV and University of Wyoming.
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 (www.mvc-sports.com) 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.
2012 CHALLENGE SCHEDULE (Series History)
Nov. 17 San Diego St. 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 (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, 2-0; last meeting 12/19/01)
Dec. 19 UNI at UNLV (UNI leads, 1-0; only meeting 3/18/10)
2011 CHALLENGE RESULTS (Tied, 4-4)
Nov. 30 Creighton 85, San Diego State 83
Dec. 3 Drake 62, Air Force 60
Dec. 3 Boise State 74, Indiana State 65
Dec. 3 UNI 83, Colorado State 77
Dec. 3 New Mexico 76, Missouri State 60
Dec. 3 TCU 70, Evansville 68 (OT)
Dec. 3 Wyoming 66, Bradley 49
Dec. 4 Wichita State 89, UNLV 70
2010 CHALLENGE RESULTS (MW won, 8-1)
Dec. 1 Colorado State 78, Drake 67
Dec. 1 BYU 77, Creighton 65
Dec. 1 New Mexico 74, Southern Illinois 59
Dec. 1 UNLV 82, Illinois State 51
Dec. 4 UNI 64, TCU 60
Dec. 4 Wyoming 81, Indiana State 51
Dec. 4 Utah 68, Bradley 60
Dec. 4 San Diego State 83, Wichita State 69
Dec. 5 Air Force 57, Evansville 56
2009 CHALLENGE RESULTS (MVC won, 5-4)
Nov. 13 BYU 70, Bradley 60
Nov. 20 Indiana State 65, Colorado State 60
Nov. 21 UNLV 78, Southern Illinois 69
Dec. 5 Missouri State 58, Air Force 48
Dec. 12 Wichita State 80, TCU 68
Dec. 19 New Mexico 66, Creighton 61
Dec. 19 Illinois State 73, Utah 63
Dec. 22 San Diego State 76, Drake 73
Dec. 23 UNI 72, Wyoming 54