Nevada To Play Loyola Chicago In 2018 Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge
The Wolf Pack will take on the Ramblers in a Sweet 16 rematch
Nevada fell to Loyola Chicago in this year’s Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament
Loyola Chicago will host Nevada in the 2018 Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge, per CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein.
The two teams met in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 round, both playing the role of this year’s Cinderella. Loyola Chicago topped Nevada 69-68, thanks to a late three-pointer by Ramblers guard Marques Townes. Loyola advanced to the Final Four before losing to Michigan on Saturday by a score of 69-57.
The matchup will look different next season, but it still is likely the best possible game involving a Mountain West and Missouri Valley team.
Loyola loses seniors Donte Ingram, Ben Richardson, and Aundre Jackson, which combined to average 28.9 points per game this past season. Nevada, meanwhile, looks to be stronger if Caleb and Cody Martin return as well as Jordan Caroline. The Wolf Pack welcome a handful of talented transfers while its main senior losses will be Kendall Stephens and Hallice Cooke.
The first Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge took place in 2009, continuing annually through the 2012 season. The challenge returned in 2015, and will run through at least 2018. Both of the last two challenges have resulted in ties.
This is the final year that both conferences are under contract for the challenge. A Mountain West spokesperson told Mountain West Wire earlier this year that there are no definite plans for 2019 and beyond regarding an intra-conference challenge.