Missouri Valley presidents vote for Valpo to replace Wichita State, stay at 10 teams
Valparaiso makes for a 10-team Missouri Valley Conference again
University presidents from schools affiliated with the Missouri Valley Conference unanimously voted on Monday night to formally invite Valparaiso University to join the conference, multiple sources told CBS Sports.
Valpo, which currently is a member of the Horizon League, is expected to accept the invitation and officially join the MVC on July 1.
The decision comes just over a month removed from Wichita State's departure from the 110-year-old league. The Shockers to join the American Athletic Conference on April 7. That move will be official on July 1.
Valparaiso, which will be invited to join the Missouri Valley across all sports, has been a Division I program in men's hoops since 1978. The Crusaders have made the NCAA Tournament nine times, most recently in 2015. Most famously, Valpo upset Ole Miss in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament on Bryce Drew's buzzer-beater.
Sources also told CBS Sports that the Missouri Valley intends to remain at 10 teams for the forseeable future. Most coaches and athletic directors within the league prefer the 10-team format and schedule.
"No one wanted to go to 12," a source said.
One source said the majority of league presidents were in favor of Valpo, but two league presidents stumped hard for Murray State. The league's official stance is that the vote to add Valpo was unanimous.
"The conference office was totally sold on Valpo," one source said.
The Crusaders now can move to the MVC after a decade-long tenure in the Horizon League. Valparaiso is a private university. It is named after the city of its location, in Indiana. Located approximately 55 miles southeast of Chicago, Valpo would be the eastern-most member of the Valley.
The addition makes sense in culture and branding. Valpo is a known mid-major entity, and one of the very few schools capable of making up for much of what is lost after Wichita State jettisoned. The Valley has been in a state of transition in the past half decade, after losing power member Creighton to the Big East in 2013.
The MVC is the second-oldest continually active conference in college athletics (only the Big Ten has existed longer). Wichita State joined the league in 1945.
The vitals on Valpo:
Location: Valparaiso, Indiana
Year joined Division I: 1978
Record: 634-552 (.535)
Conference history: Horizon and Summit League/Mid-Continent
Regular-season conference titles: 14
NCAA Tournament appearances: Nine
Home court: Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000)
2016-17 record: 24-9, 14-4 (Tied for first-place in Horizon league)
2016-17 postseason: Lost to Illinois 82-57 in first round of NIT
Current members of the Missouri Valley Conference
- Illinois State
- Indiana State
- Missouri State
- Northern Iowa
- Southern Illinois
- Wichita State (leaving for AAC in 2017-18)
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