SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Missouri State University men's baketball team will face their former coach Steve Alford when the Bears play the University of New Mexico December 3.

The Bears-Lobos game is part of the Missouri Valley Conference's series against schools from the Mountain West Conference.  The Bears defeated Air Force 58-58 as part of this year's competition.  MVC went 8-1 this season against the MWC.  In 2009, Mountain West teams went 8-1 against Valley teams.  The Bears did not play a game against a Mountain West opponent that season.

Between Nov. 30 and Dec. 4, Missouri Valley teams will play eight games against Mountain West schools.

The Bears last played New Mexico Dec. 22, 1962 when the Lobos won 78-50.


A lot has changed for Missouri State University and Steve Alford since Alford left for Iowa in 1999.

Days after losing to Duke in the Sweet 16 round of the 1999 NCAA tournament, Alford was hired by Iowa.  Alford spent eight seasons there, leaving in 2007 with a 152-106 record and three NCAA tournament appearances.

In 2007, New Mexico hired Alford.  In his first three seasons, Alford is 76-26 and took the team to the NCAA tournament in 2010.

(Southwest) Missouri State searched far and wide for Alford's replacement. The school had seemingly hired Buzz Peterson away from Appalachian State University, only to have Peterson back out.  Barry Hinson became the 15th head coach at Missouri State after two seasons at Oral Roberts

SMS became Missouri State in 2005. After 169 wins but zero NCAA appearances during that time, Hinson was let go in 2008. 

Purdue assistant coach Cuonzo Martin took over the Bears in 2008.