Mountain West, Atlantic-10 Agree To Basketball Series
Games will begin in the 2020-21 season.
Goodbye MVC, hello A-10!
The long-awaited rumor for the Mountain West and Atlantic-10 to have a basketball series has been announced. Reports came out in mid-October that these two leagues would create a scheduling agreement,
The series is to last for two seasons and begin play in the 2020-21 season. This will replace the Missouri Valley Conference challenge which was not viewed positively by most of the Mountain West.
The goal of this scheduling agreement is to play better teams and the Atlantic-10 has been a better league than the Mountain West.
The A-10 has sent two or more teams to the NCAA Tournament dating back to the 2005-06 season, sent three or more every year since the 2007-08 season and a league-high six for the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
“Scheduling quality non-conference opponents is becoming increasingly difficult, which makes a challenge series such as this of great benefit to the Mountain West,” said Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson. “The Atlantic 10 Conference is highly-respected and regularly sends multiple teams to postseason tournaments. These matchups won’t be easy, and that’s exactly what we need during the non-conference portion of our schedule as we continue strengthening Mountain West basketball.”
A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade feels the same way about playing the Mountain West.
“Challenges have become essential to conferences as scheduling quality home and home series has become increasingly difficult,” McGlade said. “This partnership will add an exciting home game to each of our schools season ticket packages while also providing resume-building opportunities and national exposure of high-interest games.”
There is only one Mountain West school that was not in favor of this agreement and it was San Diego State who feels they can schedule enough quality opponents.
“We don’t have trouble scheduling games,” Dutcher said via the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I can get a Pac-12 team instead of playing an A-10 team, and I don’t have to travel three time zones to play them.
“Some teams in the conference that are in tough locations have a hard time getting someone to play them. For the conference, I can understand their point of view, that it’s good for some teams.”
There is no word on how the rotation would for the two-year series since there are 14 games in the A-10 and 11 teams in the Mountain West so there will be some teams not playing both years.
Overall, this is a good idea to get some better teams on the schedule in an effort to boost NCAA Tournament at-large chances. Hopefully, the way these games are scheduled the better teams play each other to maximize these matchups. There is no reason to schedule these games on different weekends or various TV networks, but rather make it an actual event like the Big Ten/ACC or Big 12/SEC challenge.