April 23, 2012
The Mountain West and Missouri Valley conferences have announced next season's pairings for the MW/MVC Challenge Series in men's basketball, and Air Force will host Wichita State on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Air Force and Wichita State have only met once before, with the Shockers defeating the Falcons, 77-45, in Wichita, Kan., on Jan. 26, 1963. Air Force finished the 2011-12 season with a 13-16 record, while Wichita State ended up 27-6 and No. 18 in the final AP poll. WSU lost to VCU, 62-59, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Falcons are 1-2 in the MW/MVC Challenge Series, defeating Evansville, 57-56, on Dec. 5, 2010, at Clune Arena and losing at Missouri State, 58-48, on Dec. 5, 2009, and at Drake, 62-60, on Dec. 3, 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.
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)