The Mountain West and Missouri Valley Conferences will extend their inter-league challenge for a fourth year. The two conferences announced the 2012 pairings on Monday. The Mountain West holds a 16-10 edge over the first three seasons, last year the conferences split the matchups 4-4.
Wyoming will hit the road this time for a trip to Normal, IL to face the Redbirds of Illinois State on December 4th. The Cowboys have won two straight in the challenge and are 2-1 overall. This won't be an easy contest and adding in a long trip for a Tuesday night game makes it even tougher. The majority of the games are being played on Saturday, December 1st.
Last year Illinois State finished 21-14 (9-9) and made it to the second round of the NIT as a seventh seed. The beat Mississippi in Oxford to start and then lost on the road to Stanford 92-88. Even scarier is that the Redbirds return every single player on a team that won 21 games. They have seven seniors for the 2012-13 season and will certainly be a contender for Missouri Valley title. 6-9 240lb F Jackie Carmichael led the team with 13.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. 6-4 SG Tyler Brown averaged 13.7 points and shot 45% from the field and behind the arc. PG Nic Moore had a strong freshmen season averaging 10 points and 3.9 rebounds. He finished the year with three straight games of 20 or more points.
Playing Illinois State (#98) will certainly give the Cowboys a bigger boost in RPI then last year when they beat Bradley (#256). The Pokes weak non-conference schedule was a big reason they were passed over by the NIT selection committee. Wyoming said that the basketball team has almost completed their home game schedule for the 12-13 season. It should be released in the next couple weeks.
Here are the full pairings for the 2012 Mountain West - Missouri Valley Conference Challenge. The MVC has ten teams while the Mountain West nine, Bradley will be sitting out this year
|2012 CHALLENGE DATES||Series Records|
|Nov. 17||San Diego State at Missouri State (Series tied, 2-2; last meeeting 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 meeeting)|
|Dec. 4||Wyoming at Illinois State (UW leads, 1-0; only meeting 12/28/85)|
|Dec. 19||UNI at UNLV (UNI leads, 0-1; only meeting 3/18/10)|