When the Wichita State Shockers accepted an invitation to join the AAC, there was a mid-major sized gap to fill in the Missouri Valley Conference. The candidates most seriously considered were Murray State, and Valparaiso, and now that Murray State has formally stated they won’t be joining the MVC, that leaves the Crusaders.
On Tuesday, the MVC officially announced that it had extended an offer to the Crusaders to join the conference for the 2017-2018 season.
Valparaiso athletic director Mark LaBarbera has refused to comment on the negotiations so far. It stands to reason that the Crusaders would accept the offer sooner than later, though.
The season is rapidly approaching, and the MVC is a step in the right direction.
The Crusaders have struggled to make the cut for the NCAA tournament while playing in the Horizon League. Moving towards the Missouri Valley Conference will provide them a better chance to make regular appearance in the tournament every March.
For the conference, the void left by Wichita State is not totally filled by Valparaiso. After losing Creighton to the Big East, the conference has decided not to extend the numbers of teams to 11 or 12.