The Northern Illinois University men’s basketball team will host Appalachian State in its initial matchup in the MAC-Sun Belt Challenge, announced by the league offices on Thursday (June 22). The Huskies will welcome Appalachian State to the NIU Convocation Center on Saturday, Nov. 11.

This season marks the first year of the MAC-SBC Challenge — a scheduling alliance in both men’s and women’s basketball. The second MAC-SBC Challenge contest for each team will take place on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, with the matchups based on real-time NET rankings and announced in January. The MAC men’s basketball teams will be on the road for the February matchups.

Each MAC and Sun Belt team included in the MAC-SBC Challenge, currently scheduled to take place during the 2023-24 and 2024-25 campaigns, is guaranteed one home and one away game each season.

Scheduling assistance is provided by Ordinal Sports Group. In addition to relevant NET data, geography and frequency of past contests are considered in determining the matchups. Each MAC-SBC Challenge game will be carried on an ESPN platform.

This year’s contest will be the first all-time meeting between NIU and Appalachian State. Season ticket information and NIU’s complete 2023-24 schedule will be announced at a later date.

MAC-SBC Challenge Men’s Basketball Matchups

Wednesday, Nov. 8

Troy at Ohio

Thursday, Nov. 9

James Madison at Kent State

Saturday, Nov. 11

Southern Miss at Akron

Louisiana at Toledo

Old Dominion at Ball State

South Alabama at Buffalo

Arkansas State at Bowling Green

App State at Northern Illinois

Texas State at Miami

Georgia Southern at Eastern Michigan

Georgia State at Western Michigan

ULM at Central Michigan