Wichita State unanimously voted in to AAC, will leave Missouri Valley Conference

The Shockers will join the league for all of its sports, giving the AAC a 12th basketball school since Navy is a football-only member.

East Carolina's already hard quest for basketball respectability got just a little tougher Friday with the addition of Wichita State as the newest member of the American Athletic Conference.

Wichita State had been a member of the Missouri Valley Conference since 1945. And as recently as in 2012, the formation of a club football team was made with the intent of paving a path back to a full program rebirth at Wichita State. In 2013, the Shockers were a No.1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and reached the Final Four.

The MVC's last shift came in March of 2013, when Creighton left for the Big East.

The AAC board of directors voted unanimously Friday morning to admit the Shockers into the conference. "Wichita State brings a strong academic and athletic tradition to The American, and their fans and alumni are passionate about the school and their teams".

Think about that for a second: an undefeated No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for a Missouri Valley school.

So, in some ways, the Shockers will enter their new conference as an afterthought while Navy continues to provide the AAC with its 12th football-playing member.

WSU, meanwhile, pays basketball coach Gregg Marshall like he's going out of style.

With the move, WSU becomes the AAC's 12th basketball member. Most of the 12 conference members wanted to be in a Power 5 conference and the Big 12 held open auditions during the summer and fall of 2016.

The AAC includes traditional powers Cincinnati, Connecticut, Temple, Memphis, Houston and recent power SMU.

If today's news is win-win for Wichita State basketball and the American, that's not the case for the Shockers' non-revenue sports.

The American has been a stronger league than the Valley since its inception thanks in large part to the consistency of SMU and Cincinnati, both of whom have finished no worse than fourth the past four seasons.

Bardo, if form follows other conference moves, will take the call, perhaps from American commissioner Mike Aresco, perhaps from one of the university presidents.

During the upcoming "summer offseason", we can expect a lot more realignment discussion after Wichita State and the AAC got together.

"The office of the presidency of the United States is the most fantastic place you can be", Williams said in his post-game press conference.

Of the group of potential candidates, Belmont, now in the Ohio Valley Conference, has had the greatest recent men's basketball success.

  • Rosalie Stanley