Colorado State, coming off a a school-record 27-win season, will travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to take on Missouri Valley power UNI on Nov. 14 as a part of the Mountain West/Missouri Valley Conference Challenge Series. The Panthers went 31-4 in 2014-15, winning the Missouri Valley tournament championship before earning a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. UNI knocked off Wyoming in the second round before falling to Louisville in the Round of 32.
It will mark the second match-up between the Rams and Panthers, who also faced off at UNI’s McLeod Center during the 2011-12 season as part of the MW/MVC Challenge. UNI won 83-77 over a CSU team that announced to the NCAA Tournament that season.
According to the release jointly issued by the MW and MVC, 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.
In 2015, there will be 10 match-ups between Nov. 13 and Dec. 20, with five taking place between Nov. 13 and Nov. 18 and five between Dec. 1 and Dec. 20.
2015 MW/MVC Challenge Schedule
|Nov. 13||Illinois State at San Diego State (San Diego, California)|
|Nov. 13||Air Force at Southern Illinois (Carbondale, Illinois)|
|Nov. 14||Colorado State at UNI (Cedar Falls, Iowa)|
|Nov. 16||Wyoming at Indiana State (Terre Haute, Indiana)|
|Nov. 18||Loyola at New Mexico (Albuquerque, New Mexico)|
|Dec. 1||Utah State at Missouri State (Springfield, Missouri)|
|Dec. 2||UNLV at Wichita State (Wichita, Kansas)|
|Dec. 12||Drake at Nevada (Reno, Nevada)|
|Dec. 20||Bradley at Boise State (Boise, Idaho)|
|Dec. 20||Evansville at Fresno State (Fresno, California)|
The previous Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge ran from the 2009-10 through 2012-13 seasons, with the MW compiling a 22-13 record. Colorado State went 2-2 in the first iteration of the MW/MVC Challenge, winning two home matchups vs. Drake and Evansville, but dropping two road games at Indiana State at UNI. The Rams advanced to the NCAA tournament in both 2012 and 2013.
|CSU in MW/MVC Challenge|
|2009-10||at Indiana State (L, 65-60)|
|2000-11||vs. Drake (W, 78-67)|
|2011-12||at UNI (L, 83-77)|
|2012-13||vs. Evansville (W, 79-72)|
Colorado State’s matchup at UNI marks the second premier matchup announced for the Rams’ 2015-16 non-conference schedule. CSU will also face Kansas State in a neutral-site contests slated for Dec. 19 at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas. The Wildcats then return the game the following season, with a matchup set for Dec. 17, 2016 at Pepsi Center in Denver.
Collegian Sports Editor Keegan Pope can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @ByKeeganPope.