College basketball notebook: Wichita State's move to AAC is approved

The move means that the Shockers will be leaving the Missouri Valley Conference, a league with which it had been a member since 1945.

Wichita State has accepted an invitation to join the American Athletic Conference in time for the 2017-18 season, a source told CBS Sports. The Shockers haven't had a football team since 1986. WSU is the first school to join the AAC since Navy became a football-only member two seasons ago.

Before taking the Wichita State job, Marshall coached Winthrop to seven NCAA Tournament appearances.

The other loser is the Valley, which says goodbye to its flagship program only four years after fellow perennial power Creighton also moved on to the Big East. In the six sports it holds teams for both men and women - baseball/softball, basketball, cross country, golf, tennis, and track and field - as well as women's volleyball, the school has collected a total of 51 MVC championships in just the last 10 years. It ends a relationship with the Missouri Valley Conference that dated back 72 years. This is a smart move for both sides, as Wichita State can play tougher schools, and the AAC can add strong competition to their conference.

This wasn't included in the press-release email, but it should have been: "The American is thrilled by the addition of a mid-major superstar men's basketball program and by the presence of Gregg Marshall". And since Navy is already in the AAC West for football, keeping the same divisions for football as well as basketball makes a lot of sense. "And it's good for the city of Wichita because we're going to get exposure like we've never gotten exposure before". This puts the American at a 12-team basketball league.

League members are: Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Southern Methodist, South Florida, Temple, Tulane and Tulsa.

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"This is a university with a strong athletic and academic heritage which shares our conference's commitment to excellence and we look forward to having them as a member", AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement announcing the addition".

Wichita State appears headed to the American Athletic Conference.

Since 2011, Wichita State is 10-5 in postseason games played against Power 5 opponents. (Wichita State also got seeded No. 11 in the 2016 tournament and got sent to the First Four in Dayton before stomping fellow No. 11 seed Vanderbilt and No. 6 seed Arizona).

Making the NCAA tournament and winning games there brings extra money from the NCAA.

There is also great potential reward for WSU, who has vastly out-spent its MVC colleagues in recent years.

  • Lawrence Cooper