The Mountain West/Atlantic 10 men’s basketball challenge series that was expected to start this season has been cancelled, the two leagues announced Monday evening.
For the UNM Lobos, that means the previously scheduled Dec. 2 home game against St. Bonaventure is off the table for now.
The news was originally reported by CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein before each league later put out news releases.
In a season with COVID-concerns already pushing its start date back two weeks to Nov. 25, the two leagues saw little value in starting a series of games this year that entail cross-country travel for one non-conference game.
“The NCAA’s revised college basketball start date that delays the beginning of the 2020-21 season until Nov. 25 creates a strain on programs as they attempt to adjust their non-conference schedules,” the joint statements of both leagues read. “Both conferences have numerous teams participating in multi-team events (MTEs) that are now rescheduling dates and locations based on the new NCAA season start date.
The challenge series, which replaces for the MW the previous challenge series with the Missouri Valley Conference, features 10 of the MW’s 11 basketball members playing the A10’s members — five at Mountain West gyms, five at A10 gyms. Then, in 2021-22, the teams that hosted games this season would all owe road games.
The original 2020-21 season pairings as announced by the two leagues (A10 / MW) were:
Tuesday, Dec. 1
• Utah State at Davidson
Wednesday, Dec. 2
• UNLV at VCU
• St. Bonaventure at New Mexico
Saturday, Dec. 5
• San Diego State at Saint Louis
• George Mason at Fresno State
• Boise State at Rhode Island
• Air Force at Saint Joseph’s
• Richmond at Colorado State
• Duquesne at Wyoming
Sunday, Dec. 6
• Dayton at Nevada