Eight NJCAA Division I Men's Basketball teams from Iowa and Missouri will meet at State Fair Community College on Friday, Nov. 8 to tipoff the inaugural IA-MO Challenge.
Iowa Western will compete in the opening night's (Friday, 11/8) "prime time" contest against the hosting Roadrunners of State Fair at 8:00pm. The following day (Saturday, 11/9), the Reivers will battle the 9th ranked team in the country, Moberly at 5:00pm.
Ever since the NJCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Tournament introduced eight at-large bids, teams across the country have been focused on scheduling. A team's strength of schedule has been a big component of the NJCAA Division I Men's Basketball selection committee when considering which teams should be awarded at-large bids to Hutchinson, KS each March. That trend led to the creation of this "challenge", along with the fun atmosphere that has been created at the NCAA D1 level with Big 10 - Big East, SEC - Big XII similar type "challenges" for league bragging rights.
2019 will mark the first year of the IA-MO Challenge, an event that pairs four Division I teams from Iowa against four teams from Missouri in a two-day event. The first game will tip-off at 2:00 p.m. on Friday when Southeastern faces Missouri-West Plains.
In all, eight games will be played over the course of two days, four on Friday (11/8) and four on Saturday (11/9). The winning region of the IA-MO Challenge will take home a traveling trophy.
In rotating fashion; the 2020 challenge will meet in Iowa at Southeastern; then back to Missouri 2021 where teams will meet in West Plains, MO. Iowa Western will then host the traveling event in 2022 at Reiver Arena.
"Both regions have great Division I basketball teams and it's a great opportunity for exposure for both our student-athletes and our leagues to showcase NJCAA basketball," one league official commented.
IA-MO Challenge Schedule:
2:00 PM - Southeastern vs. Missouri-West Plains
4:00 PM - Marshalltown vs. Moberly Area
6:00 PM - Indian Hills vs. Three Rivers
8:00 PM - Iowa Western @ State Fair
1:00 PM - Southeastern vs. Three Rivers
3:00 PM - Marshalltown vs. Missouri-West Plains
5:00 PM - Iowa Western vs. Moberly Area
7:00 PM - Indian Hills vs. State Fair