NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team will host Air Force during the 2020-21 non-conference season, the Mountain West Conference and Atlantic 10 Conference announced on Thursday as part of the pairings for the inaugural year of the Mountain West - Atlantic 10 Challenge Series. The Hawks and Falcons will meet for the first time on Saturday, December 5, 2020 at Hagan Arena.
The two conferences will play ten games each season, with each league hosting five games per year. Games in the first year of the Mountain West-Atlantic 10 Challenge Series will be held in all four continental U.S. time zones, spanning from coast to coast.
Matchups for each year are determined by the league offices based on a number of factors, including the previous year’s records, NET rankings and team achievements, as well as projected rankings and anticipated strength of teams for the upcoming season. All 10 games in 2020 will be played during the first week of December, with television and digital rights residing with the host conference.
For the A-10, Davidson, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis and VCU will begin the challenge at home, while Dayton, Duquesne, George Mason, Richmond and St. Bonaventure will play on the road.
“We are looking forward to this partnership with the Mountain West Conference. Intentionally stretching our scheduling footprint into four time zones is great for television exposure and brand expansion,” stated Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. “Non-conference games are important and these matchups will be highly competitive, exciting and fun for our fan base.”
For the MWC, Fresno State, Colorado State, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming will play at home, while Air Force, Boise State, San Diego State, UNLV and Utah State will begin the challenge on the road.
“Starting next season, teams from both leagues will have the opportunity to play another quality, nationally-recognized non-conference opponent during the Challenge,” said Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson. “The Mountain West and Atlantic 10 boast strong basketball traditions, and we believe this partnership will bolster the brand of both conferences.”
Seven of the pairings feature first-time matchups between the two programs. Of the three other games, Duquesne and Wyoming have played four times with a 3-1 series record in favor of the Dukes. New Mexico holds a 1-0 series mark over St. Bonaventure and Fresno State is 1-0 all-time versus George Mason.
Announced in December of 2018, the Mountain West/Atlantic 10 Challenge Series, is a scheduling partnership that covers the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons, with an option to extend the partnership for an additional two years, into the 2023-24 season.
2020 Atlantic 10 – Mountain West Challenge Series Matchups
Game times and television coverage to be announced at a later date
Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020
Utah State at Davidson
Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020
UNLV at VCU
St. Bonaventure at New Mexico
Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020
Air Force at Saint Joseph’s
San Diego State at Saint Louis
George Mason at Fresno State
Boise State at Rhode Island
Richmond at Colorado State
Duquesne at Wyoming
Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020
Dayton at Nevada
About the Atlantic 10 Conference
The Atlantic 10 Conference was founded in 1975 and consists of 14 diverse members across eight states and Washington, D.C. The mission of the Atlantic 10 is to provide an enhanced student-athlete experience through 21 nationally competitive championship sports. The basketball-centric conference is committed to integrity, educational excellence and providing quality equitable championship experiences for its student-athletes, coaches, and support staff. The membership consists of Davidson College, the University of Dayton, Duquesne University, Fordham University, George Mason University, The George Washington University, La Salle University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Rhode Island, University of Richmond, St. Bonaventure University, Saint Joseph’s University, Saint Louis University and Virginia Commonwealth University. For more information, visit www.atlantic10.com.
About the Mountain West
From its inception in 1999, the Mountain West has been committed to excellence in intercollegiate athletics, while promoting the academic missions of its member institutions. Progressive in its approach, the Mountain West continues to cultivate opportunities for student-athletes to compete at the highest level, while fostering academic achievement and sportsmanship. Now in its 20th year, the MW has been assertive in its involvement with the NCAA governance structure and has taken a leadership role in the overall administration of intercollegiate athletics. The Mountain West membership is comprised of 11 all-sport members: the United States Air Force Academy, Boise State University, Colorado State University, Fresno State, University of Nevada, University of New Mexico, San Diego State University, San José State University, UNLV, Utah State University and University of Wyoming. In addition, the University of Hawai‘i and Colorado College participate in the Mountain West as single-sport members in football and women’s soccer, respectively.