Wichita State has accepted an invitation to join the American Athletic Conference in time for the 2017-18 season, a source told CBS Sports.
A formal announcement is expected soon.
This move will include all Wichita State sports -- the school does not have a football team -- but is obviously motivated by men’s basketball. Gregg Marshall’s Shockers have made six straight NCAA Tournaments and established themselves as a national brand since reaching to the 2013 Final Four, averaging 30.4 wins the past five seasons. Regardless, Wichita State has been under-seeded by the NCAA Tournament selection committee the past two years, which is among the reasons the school was anxious to leave the Missouri Valley Conference for the AAC, where more opportunities for quality victories will enhance the Shockers’ margin for error.
“Now we won’t have to be perfect to make the NCAA Tournament or get a decent seed,” said one source connected to the school.
From the AAC’s perspective, this also makes sense because it adds a 12th basketball-playing member and accomplished program to go with UConn, Cincinnati, Memphis, SMU, Temple and Houston. The Shockers are ranked fifth in the CBS Sports preseason Top 25 (and one) -- meaning they should be projected as AAC champions going into next season.