The Valparaiso University men’s basketball program will travel for the first time as part of the Mountain West-MVC Challenge during the 2018-19 season, as the Crusaders will make the trek to Las Vegas to take on UNLV on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
The Crusaders participated in the challenge series for the first time in November of 2017, hosting Utah State and defeating the Aggies by a 72-65 final at the ARC, led by 25 points from Tevonn Walker.
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, for the second straight year. The MW has an all-time series edge of 3-1-3 in seven previous Challenge seasons, which includes an overall advantage of 38-27 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.
Valpo is coming off of a 15-17 campaign last year and posted a 6-12 record in its first season of Valley play. UNLV finished with a 20-13 overall record, including an 8-10 mark in MWC play. The Crusaders and Rebels will match up for the first time in program history.