The 12 MAC men’s and women’s basketball teams will face off against 12 Sun Belt teams in a pair of contests each year, with each game being carried on an ESPN platform.
The first game will occur during the opening week of the 2023-24 regular-season from Wednesday, Nov. 8, to Saturday, Nov. 11, with the matchups being jointly determined based on projected NET rankings heading into the season. The second contest will take place on Saturday, Feb. 10, with the matchups set based on real-time NET rankings and announced in January.
“The MAC-SBC Challenge series will provide great opportunities to match-up with similar strength opponents and will allow us to gain home games,” said MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher. “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.”
“The MAC-SBC Challenge is unique because it annually provides our men’s and women’s basketball teams with two quality games against peer institutions,” said Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Keith Gill. “This new partnership will create so many interesting matchups and be exciting for our membership and our fans.”
Each MAC and Sun Belt team included in the MAC-SBC Challenge will be guaranteed one home and one away game each season.
Scheduling assistance will be provided by Ordinal Sports Group. In addition to relevant NET data, geography and frequency of past contests will be considered in determining the matchups.