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Appalachian State Women and Men’s Basketball Teams Discover First Opponents in MAC-SBC Challenge

The initial matchups of the second year of the MAC-SBC Challenge – a scheduling alliance in the sport of men’s and women’s basketball – were announced Thursday. The MAC-SBC Challenge will tip off the 2024-25 season.

Twelve Sun Belt Conference (SBC) men’s basketball programs are set to host 12 Mid-American Conference (MAC) teams in November, while the 12 MAC women’s basketball teams will welcome 12 visiting Sun Belt women’s teams.

The second MAC-SBC Challenge contest for each team will take place in February with the matchups to be set based on real-time NET rankings and announced in January. The Sun Belt women and MAC men will host the February matchups.

Head coach Dustin Kerns and his squad will welcome the Miami (OH) RedHawks to the Holmes Convocation Center on Nov. 4, which is set to be the Mountaineers’ 2024-25 home and regular-season opener. This will be the first ever meeting between App State and Miami (OH). The RedHawks finished sixth in the MAC a season ago after posting a 9-9 record in conference play. The men will then visit a MAC opponent to be named later in February.

In her first game as head coach of the Mountaineer women, head coach Alaura Sharp and her team will trek to Oxford, Ohio, as they will also face the RedHawks on Nov. 4. App State and Miami (OH) have met two previous times at neutral locations, with the Mountaineers claiming a 79-76 win the last time the two teams met in 2009. November’s meeting will be the first time the Mountaineers will visit Oxford. App State will then host a MAC opponent in February.

Each MAC-SBC Challenge game will be carried on an ESPN platform.

In the first year of the challenge, the App State men’s team went 1-1 against the MAC, dropping the first contest on the road at Northern Illinois before claiming a thrilling double-overtime win over four-time reigning MAC regular-season champion Toledo at home.

On the women’s side, App State went unbeaten against the MAC, claiming a 71-64 win over Ohio at the Holmes Convocation Center in November and a 78-68 win at Western Michigan in February. App State was one of four Sun Belt women’s teams to go undefeated against the MAC in the challenge.

The Sun Belt was victorious on both the women’s side and the men’s side last year, with a 14-10 edge in women’s games and 15-9 in men’s games.

The MAC-SBC Challenge comes at the recommendation of the Sun Belt’s strategic planning committees for men’s and women’s basketball, as the conference looks to return to its roots and bolster its success on the hardwood. Scheduling assistance is provided by Ordinal Sports Group with relevant NET data, geography and frequency of past contests going into determining the matchups.

MAC-SBC Challenge Men’s Basketball Matchups – Nov. 4
Miami (OH) at App State
Akron at Arkansas State
Western Michigan at Coastal Carolina
Northern Illinois at Georgia Southern
Ball State at Georgia State
Ohio at James Madison
Kent State at Louisiana
Buffalo at Old Dominion
Central Michigan at South Alabama
Bowling Green at Southern Miss
Eastern Michigan at Texas State
Toledo at Troy

MAC-SBC Challenge Women’s Basketball Matchups – Nov. 4
App State at Miami (OH)
Arkansas State at Western Michigan
Coastal Carolina at Central Michigan
Georgia Southern at Ohio
Georgia State at Akron
James Madison at Kent State
Louisiana at Northern Illinois
Marshall at Toledo
Old Dominion at Ball State
Southern Miss at Bowling Green
Texas State at Eastern Michigan
Troy at Buffalo

{Information provided by Appalachian State Athletics}