Wichita State Basketball: How the Shockers' move to AAC impacts program?

Insufficient competition in the Valley made it hard for Wichita State to earn a favorable NCAA tournament seeding the past few years since the Shockers often didn't face more than one top 100 opponent after non-league play was over.

Friday, 12 American Athletic Conference presidents voted unanimously to approve Wichita State's admission to the league.

Wichita State has accepted the invitation.

"I think this shows that Wichita State University and schools across the country are buying into the bright future this conference has, and we're extremely pleased", AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said in a conference call".

The Shockers will join the conference in every sport except football starting next season.

In the last six years, the Shockers have been to the Final Four as a No. 9 seed and won 10 tournament games. Born out of the old Big East, the AAC has consistently trailed the Power 5 and new Big East in terms of conference rankings, though it is still a definitive step above the MVC. Wichita State doesn't sponsor a football team, and finished under.500 in women's basketball last season.

Wichita State officially joined the American Athletic Conference on Friday. How the university and the new conference go about scheduling for Shockers baseball, volleyball, softball, etc., is yet to be seen. The move will make the AAC a 12-school league in basketball.

Led by coach Gregg Marshall, the Shockers are one of only five teams to win at least one NCAA tournament game in each of the past five years.

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The success of WSU's men's basketball program was a major factor in the university's marriage with the AAC. "They will improve the strength of schedule for all league members and will be a very popular opponent for fans of all American teams, including UConn". The Big 12's flirting and teasing with AAC members without ever extending a formal invite to the conference made sure of that.

The Shockers will leave the Valley after this school year and begin competing in the American Conference in 2017-18.

During the upcoming "summer offseason", we can expect a lot more realignment discussion after Wichita State and the AAC got together.

Moving into a conference with Cincinnati and SMU, who both made the NCAA Tournament in 2017, as well as four-time national champion CT and annual contender Memphis should help Wichita State's national perception.

Several schools have been rumored as possible Valley members besides those considered four years ago, including Omaha, Belmont and the Dakota schools.

Wichita State knows what it feels like to be undervalued in March.

Making the NCAA tournament and winning games there brings extra money from the NCAA.

  • Regina Holmes