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Conference realignment for 2014-15: New teams in new leagues

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Well, July 1 brings about the new fiscal year and the new academic year as well. As of today, conference realignment clicks into place again. Cherish it, because as things stand, it's shaping up to be the last major renovation on league landscape for a few years, minimally.

And ... I probably just jinxed it.

Ah, cripes.

Well, let's look at moving day for teams and leagues around college hoops. We did this last year, and here's your cheat sheet if you're still trying to catch up with that bout of reordering. This year sees the trickle-down effect, mostly. Whereas 2013 had clear impact on the biggest conferences, now we're witnessing how the smaller leagues must react to the storms on the mountains.

For 2014-15:

The Atlantic 10 -- which has a new logo! -- brings in Davidson from the SoCon. The A-10 is set up for a very strong year.

The ACC gets the headline addition in adding Louisville from The American. The ACC: also set up for a very strong year. And strong decade.

The American will add on Tulane, Tulsa and East Carolina -- coming in one cargo box from Conference USA. It will take you at least five years to remember which schools are in this league.

The Big Sky has pilfered Idaho from the WAC. Can you name five Big Sky teams? Yes: both Montanas are in that league! Yes: there is a Montana and a Montana State!

The Big Ten gets weird by bringing in Maryland from the ACC and Rutgers from the AAC. Jokes aside, it's impossible for me to picture Rutgers basketball ever going even two years in a row as a top-four Big Ten basketball team. It hasn't even made the NCAAs more than 23 years.

The Colonial Athletic Association welcomes in Elon from the SoCon. The Phoenix could become a player in the league in short time.

Conference USA will replace its three outgoing members with just Western Kentucky, which has bolted on the Sun Belt. A decade ago C-USA was a top-seven league. Now it floats between 12 and 20.

The Southern Conference is upgrading residency more than any other leagues. VMI has left the Big South for the SoCon. The league also brings back a former member in East Tennessee State, which spent a respite in the A-Sun. Mercer, the lovable 14 seed that toppled Duke a few months back, ships in to the SoCon by way of the A-Sun.

The Summit League will bring back Oral Roberts (via the Southland), which was previously in the league from 1997 to 2012.

The Sun Belt: Appalachian State and Georgia Southern come over from the Southern Conference, a move made to bolster their football programs to the FBS level.

You're totally jumbled now, aren't you? I guess I am too.

 
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