The bulk of the conference shuffling should be done now. After the Wichita State Shockers decided to leave the Missouri Valley Conference for the AAC, it set off a chain reaction.
They left for the AAC, Valparaiso filled their vacancy in the MVC, and now the Horizon League has filled its vacancy.
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis will be joining the Horizon League. IUPUI has been competing in Division I for 19 years now, and managed to make it to an NCAA tournament in 2003. They’ve competed in the Summit League for the last 10 years, and have failed to put together a winning season since 2010-11.
Coach Jason Gardner is leading the turnaround and has improved their record each season as head coach.
Both sides appear happy that the switch is taking place. First reported by NBC Sports, the Horizon League commissioner Jon LeCrone wasted no time issuing a statement about the shuffle:
“We are excited to welcome IUPUI to the Horizon League family,” LeCrone said. “The Jaguars bring us tremendous competitive potential, particularly in men’s basketball, along with an engaged and energized city. Their addition solidifies our broad community partnerships in Indianapolis and is the right school at the right time.”
The level of competition takes a big step up in the Horizon League. While still not one of the premier conferences in college basketball, IUPUI will have a slightly better chance to qualify for the NCAA tournament if they can dominate their conference.