Missouri Valley Conference adds Valparaiso to replace Wichita State

By The Sports Xchange   |   May 9, 2017 at 5:50 PM

The Missouri Valley Conference extended an invitation to Valparaiso to join the conference, the league confirmed on Tuesday.

The Crusaders will replace long-time basketball power Wichita State, which recently departed for the American Athletic Conference.

The MVC said Valparaiso would become a member effective July 1, 2017. The conference said it would have no further comment on expansion plans.

The addition of Valparaiso keeps the MVC at 10 teams. The vote to add the Crusaders was unanimous, according to the MVC.

Valparaiso's men's basketball program has won 20 or more games in six of the past seven seasons. The Crusaders have made nine NCAA Tournament appearances and have two wins in that event, both coming in 1998 when the Bryce Drew-led team advanced to the Sweet 16.

The MVC also considered Murray State, Milwaukee and Nebraska-Omaha before deciding on Valparaiso.

Valpo was a member of the Horizon League for most of its sports. Its football program will continue playing in the FCS Pioneer Football League.

The loss of Wichita State is the second recent big blow suffered by the Missouri Valley. Creighton departed to the Big East in 2013.

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