The Wichita State Shockers are moving on up, as they will join the American Athletic Conference for the upcoming 2017-2018 season. Starting July 1, the Shockers will not be a member of the Missouri Valley Conference for the first time since the 1945-1946 season.
While it’s always sad to see a school leave a conference that they’ve had so much history with, this is definitely a great move for the Shockers. It’s hard to imagine that they would have gotten royally screwed in this past year’s NCAA Tournament with a ridiculous 10-seed if they were playing in a more well-respected conference.
Here’s ESPN with the logistics of how everything will shake out.
Wichita State will join the AAC in all sports, except football, giving the AAC both a 12-team football and basketball league. The AAC has 11 all-sports members (Cincinnati, UConn, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, South Florida, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa and Central Florida) and Navy is a football-only member. Wichita State has not had a football team since 1986.
Because of Wichita State’s basketball success, the Shockers were an attractive target for the AAC. Wichita State has been to six consecutive NCAA tournaments, winning at least one game in the past five tournaments and reaching the 2013 Final Four.
That works out pretty damn perfectly. Congrats to the Shockers and Gregg Marshall on their move to the AAC. I know that Lynn Marshall’s crazy ass has already popped some celebratory champagne.