The Mountain West and Atlantic 10 attempted to create a conference challenge. But COVID-19 wiped out all the games last season.
Those matchups were expected to be made up in the 2021-22 season. But Jon Rothstein reports that the conference clash will be canceled this season as well.
UNLV was scheduled to play at VCU. It could have been an excellent game for the Rebels’ non-conference schedule, as VCU made the NCAA Tournament last season.
Despite UNLV’s struggles over the last eight season, the Mountain West usually pairs the Rebels up with a high profile opponent from an opposing conference. Whether it was the Missouri Valley challenge or the still hypothetical Atlantic 10 challenge, UNLV usually received a good draw.
With VCU off the schedule, UNLV has five opponents set for next season. The Rebels will host UCLA and Cal and make a road trip to SMU. Plus, UNLV will head down Tropicana Avenue to play two of Michigan, Arizona and Wichita State in the MGM Main Event.
VCU would have helped the schedule, but it is certainly not a backbreaker.
Even though it won’t help the non-conference strength of schedule, hopefully UNLV will host Iowa State and T.J. Otzelberger this season as well.
As Desiree Reed-Francois said on ESPN Las Vegas in March: “I appreciate what T.J. did while he was here. I wish him the absolute best with his new team in Iowa State in Ames, Iowa. And maybe in December it’s going… Well anyway, I’ll let that go.”