C-USA will hold 2014 tourney at UTEP, remain at 14 schools

Conference USA has been somewhat forgotten during the past few rounds of conference realignment. Most of the attention was given to the breakup of the old Big East -- and the subsequent creation of the new Big East and American Athletic Conference.

The league has been plenty busy itself, though, picking up nine schools that will join during the next two years.

By 2014-15, Conference USA will have 14 members: Charlotte 49ers , Florida International Golden Panthers , Florida Atlantic Owls , Louisiana Tech Bulldogs , Marshall Thundering Herd , Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders , North Texas Mean Green , Old Dominion Monarchs , Rice Owls , Southern Miss Golden Eagles , UAB Blazers , Texas-El Paso Miners , Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners and Western Kentucky Hilltoppers .

And that’s what the league will stay with for the time being.

“We are thrilled with our membership going forward and excited about our collective potential,” C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky said earlier this week at the annual Board of Directors meeting. “Our organization has established a great foundation in an increasingly stable environment. The system has found calm waters, which is helpful to all of us.”

There had been some talk that the league would add two more schools to get to 16. 

At the meeting, the league also decided on locations for 15 of its 17 conference championships. Memphis has hosted the men’s basketball tournament in the past, but with the Tigers off to the AAC, a new host was needed.

The league went with UTEP as the host for the 2013-14 season, meaning the 16-team tournament will descend upon El Paso, Texas, in early March. The women's basketball tournament is also being held there. 

Conference USA will lose  UCF Knights Memphis Tigers Houston Cougars  and  SMU Mustangs  to the American Athletic Conference for the 2013-14 season, with  East Carolina Pirates Tulane Green Wave  and  Tulsa Golden Hurricane  joining in 2014.

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