The news of Wichita State joining the American Athletic Conference as the 12th member was welcomed by many, not only because this is a step up athletically and academically, but it will bring more money to Wichita.
Wichita State is set to join the AAC ahead of next season, after the school was reportedly voted in unanimously by the conference's members.
The Missouri Valley Conference is targeting both Valparaiso and Murray State as potential additions following Wichita State's departure to the American Athletic Conference, multiple sources told FanRag Sports.
This move will include all Wichita State sports - the school does not have a football team - but is obviously motivated by men's basketball. The schools that field top-level college football teams banded together to form the AAC.
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The move makes sense in terms of basketball as well for the school that has made six straight NCAA tournament appearances, including two Sweet 16s and the 2013 Final Four. Four years ago, the Creighton Bluejays departed for the Big East and now, they are losing their flagship program to the AAC.
It was simply a no-brainer for Wichita State to make the move because the NCAA Tournament selection committee will more often than not punish the squad if the MVC doesn't boast many high-quality teams in a given year.
ESPN reported the Shockers - who will be exiting the Missouri Valley Conference - will have $2.5 million of revenue withheld as a de facto entry fee into the AAC. "In men's basketball, the American Conference just went up a level". By early March, evidence mounted, with no dissent, that the Shockers were on their way out of the Valley, their home since 1945.
Led by coach Gregg Marshall, the Shockers are one of only five teams to win at least one NCAA tournament game in each of the past five years. Football-only Navy gives the league 12 members for football. RealRPI.com ranked the American seventh among 32 conferences behind the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Southeastern Conference and Pac-12.
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"I want to welcome Wichita State to the American Athletic Conference on behalf of the entire UConn Division of Athletics", said UConn Director of Athletics David Benedict.
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Sandra Denneler adjusts a sign before an official announcement at Wichita State Friday. It may be the other way around with Wichita State. The men's team has captured 25 MVC tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Championship on 11 occasions, while the women's program has won 18 conference crowns and earned 10 NCAA Championship berths.
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