Sun Belt, MAC agree to new multi-year challenge


Evan Bates

App State tips off with Kennesaw State Nov. 19, 2022.

Ethan Smith, Sports Editor

The Sun Belt and Mid-American Conference announced the creation of the MAC-Sun Belt challenge Nov. 21. The series will add quality non-conference play for App State.

Men’s and women’s basketball teams from each conference will face off against each other in two separate contests for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons.

“The MAC-Sun Belt Challenge is unique because it annually provides our men’s and women’s basketball teams with two quality games against peer institutions,” said Keith Gill, Sun Belt commissioner. “This new partnership will create so many interesting matchups and be exciting for our membership and fans.”

The first set of matchups began during the opening week for college basketball in the 2023-24 season, taking place Nov. 8-11. The second matchup will occur Feb. 10.  

“This fits perfectly with our right-size scheduling philosophy. I am appreciative of the Sun Belt Conference and look forward to the competition on the court,” said Jon Steinbrecher, MAC commissioner.

NET rankings will determine the matchups for both sets of games. NET rankings is used as the primary selection tool for seeding for March Madness. 

Last season, the Mountaineers men’s team defeated MAC member Akron 57-45 as a part of the Gulf Coast Showcase.