Missouri-Kansas City will join the Western Athletic Conference in basketball and all other sports beginning in 2013-14, CBSSports.com has learned.
The basketball program has been a Division I program for 37 years and has never made the NCAA tournament. But the Kangaroos were attractive enough for the WAC, which just played its last season of football and is trying to survive as a basketball conference.
The nine-team league will retain its automatic tournament bid going forward. UMKC will join officially on July 1. A press conference has been scheduled for next week.
UMKC will be leaving the Summit League, joining Seattle, Idaho, New Mexico State, Cal-Bakersfield, Utah Valley, Texas-Pan American, Grand Canyon and Chicago State. Commissioner Jeff Hurd said he would like to grow the league to at least 10 members in the future.
"UMKC is much like some of the additions we've made," Hurd said. "There is growth potential, a commitment. We were looking for a metropolitan area. We have a chance to grow our league with members we are adding. We feel there is a commitment on the part of the univeristy.
UMKC plays some of its home games at Municipal Auditorium, which has hosted the most Final Fours in history.