San Jose State returns three starters from last year’s team that finished 14-16, including a 7-11 mark in league play, in which the Spartans tied for eighth place. SIU also returns three starters from a club that finished 17-16, including a 9-9 record in Valley play. The Salukis tied with Northern Iowa for third place.
The agreement between the two conferences is in the third year of a four-year term. Last year, the leagues split 10 games, 5-5. In six previous Challenge seasons, the Mountain West has a 33-22 advantage. Annual matchups for the teams are 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. Each season is considered separately in terms of matchups, therefore, games from the previous year’s Challenge may not be returned.
Southern Illinois is 2-3 all-time in the Challenge series with wins over Air Force and Fresno State, and losses to UNLV, New Mexico and Nevada.
2017 MVC-Mountain West Challenge
|Tuesday, N28||Loyola at Boise State||Boise, ID|
|Tuesday, N28||Utah State at Valparaiso||Valparaiso, IN|
|Tuesday, N28||Colorado State at Missouri State||Springfield, MO|
|Wednesday, N29||UNLV at Northern Iowa||Cedar Falls, IA|
|Wednesday, N29||Air Force at Indiana State||Terre Haute, IN|
|Wednesday, N29||Illinois State at Nevada||Reno, NV|
|Wednesday, N29||Evansville at New Mexico||Albuquerque, NM|
|Saturday, D2||San Jose State at Southern Illinois||Carbondale, IL|
|Saturday, D2||Drake at Wyoming||Laramie, WY|
|Sunday, D3||Bradley at San Diego State||San Diego, CA|