09 April, 2017
Moments ago, Wichita State confirmed the move from the Missouri Valley Conference, which it has been a member of since 1945.
The AAC Board of Directors unanimously voted to offer membership to Wichita State University on Friday morning via teleconference.
Wichita State accepted an invitation Friday to join the American Athletic Conference, ending a relationship with the Missouri Valley Conference that dated back almost a half-century.
Having piled up a sparkling 68-4 record in the Missouri Valley Conference the past four years, Wichita State basketball is ready for a new challenge.
The Shockers will join the conference in every sport except football starting next season.
The Shockers were drastically under-seeded in the NCAA tournament this past season (they were given a 10-seed and had to play Dayton in the first round before facing off against Kentucky in the second round) despite winning 30 games, including just a single loss in MVC play. Thamel reports that the league will likely play an 18-game conference schedule in basketball after the Shockers are added.
The American Athletic Conference is expected to vote on a proposal to invite Wichita State to join the conference on Friday. Loyola left the Horizon League after 34 years and accepted the Valley's invitation that April to become the league's 10th member. The Shockers' programs will essentially pair with Navy, which is a football-only member, and give the American 12 teams in men's and women's basketball.
That foundation and WSU's glittering success since 2011 convinced the American that it could make a rare basketball move in the football-dominated world of athletics.More news: Jumping Jupiter! Hubble Space Telescope gives giant planet its super-close-up
Those two additions would give the league 11 teams in total which would lead to each team playing twice during the regular season in a 20-game league format, according to separate source.
As of late Tuesday afternoon, Wichita State remained a member of the MVC, but not for much longer.
The Shockers will leave the Valley after this school year and begin competing in the American Conference in 2017-18. The league, which was pieced together in 2013 after the demise of the old Big East Conference, sent only two teams - UC and SMU - to the NCAA Tournament this past season.
Wichita State has grown out of the Missouri Valley Conference just like your first-grader has grown out of the trousers you bought him in August.
The AAC includes Connecticut, Cincinnati, Central Florida, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, South Florida, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa and Navy.
The Missouri Valley has called a meeting for Sunday to discuss its future.
There is also great potential reward for WSU, who has vastly out-spent its MVC colleagues in recent years.