The Valparaiso University men’s basketball program will have the opportunity to participate in a conference challenge series for the first time during the 2017-18 season, as the Crusaders will host Utah State on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at the ARC as part of the Challenge Series between the Missouri Valley Conference and the Mountain West Conference.
The series between the MVC and the MW originated in 2009 and ran through 2012 before being renewed in 2015. Last season, the two conferences split the 10-game series, 5-5. The MW has an all-time series edge of 3-1-2 in six previous Challenge seasons, which includes an overall advantage of 33-22 in games played in association with the series.
The Challenge Series features head-to-head competition between 10 Mountain West and 10 Missouri Valley teams annually, with each conference hosting five games apiece each season.
Annual matchups for teams in the Challenge Series will be based upon factors including the previous year’s achievements, records and RPI rankings, as well as projected rankings/strength of teams in the upcoming season, based on composite sources. Each season will be considered separately in terms of matchups, therefore, games from the previous year’s Challenge Series may not be returned.
The matchup between the Crusaders and the Aggies will be the second in program history. The two teams previously met at the Big Island Invitational in Hilo, Hawaii on Nov. 25, 1995 – a 79-70 victory for Valpo.