Mountain West - Missouri Valley Challenge 11/30 - 12/4

Mountain West - Missouri Valley Challenge 11/30 - 12/4

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The Mountain West dominated the yearly challenge against the Missouri Valley in 2010. Northern Iowa’s four point victory over TCU was the only win for the MVC. This year the field is narrowed down to eight games with the conference changes that took place in the MWC, but there are still some interesting games on tap, most notably Creighton and San Diego State.


November 30th

Creighton at San Diego State

The cream of the crop kicks off the challenge on Wednesday the 30th of November. Creighton is arguably the best team in either conference and they have been blowing away the competition, especially at home. However, this game is in San Diego and the Aztecs are looking closer to the team they were last year then some expected. If SDSU’s Chase Tapley can keep up his superb outside shooting, Creighton may be in trouble on the road. However, the Aztecs will need to find a way to stop Doug McDermott and Gregory Echenique and that will not be easy.

Predicted Winner: Creighton


December 3rd

Air Force at Drake

Drake has started strong this season thanks to Rayvonte Rice and Ben Simons. The schedule has been pretty tough for the Bulldogs early in the year, but they beat Iowa State and lost to Mississippi by four and Virginia by eight. This is not a team that will compete for a MVC title unless Rice’s outside shot starts falling more consistently and a third scorer is found. Air Force has relied heavily on guard Michael Lyons and so far that has worked. However, this will be Air Force’s first road trip and that makes Drake the favorite.

Predicted Winner: Drake


Indiana State at Boise State

Both the Sycamores and the Broncos should be happy with their early season performances. Indiana State has won some close games, while Boise State blew out Utah and Cal State Northridge. Indiana State will play solid defense as usual, but they will not be able to keep up with Anthony Drmic, Derrick Marks, Ryan Watkins and Boise State’s deep bench in the scoring column.

Predicted Winner: Boise State


Colorado State at Northern Iowa

The keys to this game will be Colorado State’s perimeter defense and the health of Pierce Hornung. Northern Iowa has shot extremely well from long range so far this season and CSU has to defend the perimeter. Hornung, a starting forward for the Rams, has missed some action following a concussion. UNI is not a great rebounding team and Hornung would be a beast on the glass in this game if he is back at full strength. These are two teams that may end up near the bubble the way things are looking right now. This could be a huge game when we look back in March.

Predicted Winner: Colorado State


Missouri State at New Mexico

The Lobos are the best team in the Mountain West Conference and a matchup with Creighton would be ideal. However, Missouri State is no pushover by any means, but they are not as strong or experienced as they were in 2010-2011 when the Bears went 26-9 overall and 15-3 in MVC play. And taking this young team into the Pit will be a tough task for first year Coach Paul Lusk.

Predicted Winner: New Mexico


TCU at Evansville

TCU will get a lot of production out of Hank Thorns and J.R. Cadot, but that may not be enough to knock off the Aces of Evansville. Both squads are a little undersized and both do not mind running up and down the floor, so at the least this should be a high scoring game. If it does indeed end up in the 80s, that favors Evansville and their depth and size on the wing.

Predicted Winner: Evansville


Bradley at Wyoming

Not much is expected from either Bradley or Wyoming this season. Neither squad has much to show on their early resume. Taylor Brown and Dyricus Simms-Edwards are quality players for Bradley, but their depth is limited and this will be their first true road game of the season.

Predicted Winner: Wyoming


December 4th     

UNLV at Wichita State 

By these predictions, the Mountain West Conference will be up 4-3 in the series heading into the lone game on Sunday. Wichita State will need a win to end the series with a tie. But that may be tough with a UNLV team that has played very well this season coming to town. The Rebels are a very balanced team with experience and talent all over the floor. Wichita State came out of the Puerto Rice Tip-off with two losses and they need to bolster their non-conference slate in order to help their hopes for an at-large bid. They are running out of opportunities to post signature wins and they might really need to beat UNLV. However, the Rebels are playing too well out of the gate and have the talent to beat Wichita State at home.

Predicted Winner: UNLV


Predicted Series Score:

Mountain West: 5

Missouri Valley: 3