College Basketball Realignment Tracking – NCAA Division I Conference Changes Tracking
Another wave of NCAA conference realignment is upon us, and varsity sports fans have begun to prepare for major changes to the landscape of the Division I varsity basketball conference as they appear. ‘have known.
While the realignment in varsity sports has largely been centered around the earth-shattering moves to come in varsity football, both men’s and women’s college basketball have hardly been immune to imminent change. Of the 32 College Basketball Division I conferences, 15 have membership changes pending on the horizon. The biggest moves – all driven by football – will occur in the Big 12, SEC, AAC, Conference USA, and Sun Belt, but frequent multi-nominee basketball conferences, most notably the Atlantic 10. , the Missouri Valley and the WCC, will also undergo changes to their footprints.
To keep up with the changes, ESPN has put together a conference-by-conference guide to the pending move across Division I. Future league footprints for each affected conference are included, along with the latest information on the upcoming move schedule. This page will be continually updated as more changes occur.
(updated January 7, 2022)
Hartford announced in May that he was leaving Division I, with the school planning to apply for his upgrading to Division III in January 2022. Although Hartford’s move to D-III is not expected to be completed until 2025, the commissioner outgoing East America Amy Huchthausen told the Lowell Sun in July that 2021-22 would be the last year of school at the conference after an affiliation of 38 seasons.
Future look: Albany, Binghamton, Maine, UMBC, UMass Lowell, New Hampshire, NJIT, Stony Brook, Vermont
Current members of the AAC, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF have accepted invitations to the Big 12 in September and will be leaving America “no later than” for the 2024-25 season (there is still a possibility that an exit will be negotiated at time for the 2023-24 season).
In October, the American announced he would add six former USA Conference members: Charlotte, FAU, North Texas, Rice, UAB and UTSA, bringing the basketball members of the conference to 14 schools, pending departure. of the 12 major defectors. (The league football team will also have 14 programs, minus the state of Wichita non-football and including the Navy affiliate member, who will continue to serve as the main Patriot League member for other sports). All six of the incoming schools plan to start the AAC game in 2023-24.
Future look: Charlotte, East Carolina, FAU, Memphis, North Texas, Rice, SMU, South Florida, Temple, UTSA, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, Wichita State
Jacksonville State and Liberty will each end short stays with ASUN when they move to Conference USA in 2023. The league’s other move, announced in September, was the addition of Austin Peay from the OVC for the season. 2022-2023.
Future look: Austin Peay, Bellarmine, Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, Northern Alabama, Northern Florida, Stetson
Loyola Chicago accepted an invitation from the A-10 in November, announcing that it will be leaving the Missouri Valley and expanding its new conference to 15 schools.
Future look: Davidson, Dayton, Duquesne, Fordham, George Mason, George Washington, La Salle, Loyola Chicago, UMass, Rhode Island, Richmond, Saint-Bonaventure, Saint-Joseph, Saint-Louis, VCU
Southern Utah announced in January 2021 that it would join the WAC in July 2022.
Future look: Eastern Washington, Idaho, State of Idaho, Montana, State of Montana, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, State of Portland, State of Sacramento, State of Weber
In the first major shot through the realignment arc, Oklahoma and Texas announced in July that they would be leaving the Big 12 for the SEC in the summer of 2025. Although there has been speculation that an exit could be negotiated for schools to leave by 2023, no known progress has been made in these negotiations.
Current members of the AAC, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF have accepted invitations to the Big 12 in September and will be leaving the American “no later than” for the 2024-25 season (there is still a possibility that an exit will be negotiated at time for the 2023-24 season). BYU, a WCC member in men’s and women’s basketball, is expected to join the Big 12 across the board in 2023-24, though it’s possible the school could pay for the relatively small WCC buyout and join as that member of basketball next season.
Future look: Baylor, BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, UCF, West Virginia
James Madison, who has been actively and transparently seeking an FBS conference for his football program for nearly 20 years, in November accepted an invitation to join the Sun Belt in time for the 2022-2023 season. In response, the CAA took the unusual (and in this cycle of realignment, unprecedented) step of barring the Dukes from winning more conference titles for the remainder of the 2021-22 season. This means the Men’s Basketball Dukes (who started the season 9-2, including a victory over Virginia) are expected to win a general offer to reach the NCAA tournament unless the CAA Presidents and ADs don’t reconsider their hurt feelings and / or the arcane of the conference. statutes and allow JMU to participate in the CAA tournament.
Future look: Charleston, Delaware, Drexel, Elon, Hofstra, Northeastern, Towson, UNC Wilmington, William & Mary
United States Conference
No Division I league will undergo a greater transformation than C-USA, which will lose nine schools – UAB (American), Florida Atlantic (American), Charlotte (American), Marshall (Sun Belt), North Texas (American), Old Dominion (Sun Belt), Rice (American), Southern Miss (Sun Belt) and UTSA (American) – from its current roster by 2023-24.
The conference announced in November that it would counter by adding Jacksonville State, Liberty, New Mexico State and Sam Houston in time for the 2023-24 season.
Future look: CRF, State of Jacksonville, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, State of New Mexico, Sam Houston, UTEP, Western Kentucky
Valley will lose their current men’s basketball pace in 2022, as Loyola Chicago leaves for the Atlantic 10, but Valley has been active on the expansion front as well. Belmont announced that he will be coming from the OVC in September, and in January was joined by another Ohio Valley member, Murray State. The league too reportedly contacted UT Arlington (the only remaining non-footballing Sun Belt member) in December 2020 to assess the school’s interest in joining. Nothing else materialized there, but UT Arlington, Illinois-Chicago of the Horizon League and Kansas City of the Summit League were all mentioned in reports as potential candidates bring the league to 12 teams. Matt Brown from the (excellent) Extra Points blog reported that UIC should be offered an invitation to the valley, although its addition would not necessarily prevent further expansion.
Future look: Belmont, Bradley, Drake, Evansville, State of Illinois, State of Indiana, State of Missouri, State of Murray, North of Iowa, South of Illinois, Valparaiso
The OVC will lose three programs in 2022-2023, with Austin Peay (ASUN), Belmont (Missouri Valley) and Murray State (Missouri Valley) leaving a conference that lost Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State in a previous round of realignment.
The league has so far hit back by adding Little Rock, which comes from the Sun Belt in 2022-2023. the The Extra Points blog reported that the league is looking to expand further, naming potential targets like Western Illinois (Summit League) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (SWAC) as well as current members of Division II Southern Indiana, Hillsdale, Grand Valley State and Lincoln Memorial.
Future look: Eastern Illinois, Little Rock, State of Morehead, SIU Edwardsville, State of Southeast Missouri, State of Tennessee, Tennessee Tech, UT Martin
Oklahoma and Texas announced in July that they would be leaving the Big 12 for the SEC in July 2025. As mentioned, there has been speculation that an exit could be negotiated for schools to leave the Big 12 and join. the SEC by 2023, but no. known progress has been made in these negotiations.
Future look: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, State of Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Southland lost one of its more recent programs when Incarnate Word announced it would join WAC in 2022-2023. The conference responded by extending an invitation to Division II Texas A & M-Commerce, which is expected to join the league and begin its four-year transition to Division I in 2022.
Future look: Houston Baptist, McNeese State, New Orleans, Nicholls State, Northwestern State, Southeast Louisiana, Texas A & M-Commerce, Texas A & M-Corpus Christi
The Sun Belt was primarily a buyer in this wave of realignment, adding Marshall, Old Dominion and Southern Miss of Conference USA and James Madison of CAA. JMU is expected to join the league’s basketball team in 2022-2023, the others in 2023-24.
The conference suffered some attrition, with Little Rock announcing in December that it will move to OVC in 2022-23. This leaves UT Arlington as the only Sun Belt school without a football program, and the university reported discussions with the Missouri Valley and the WAC are perhaps an indication that there is more to come out there.
Future look: Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, South Georgia, Georgia State, James Madison, Louisiana, Louisiana-Monroe, Marshall, Old Dominion, Southern Alabama, Southern Miss, State of Texas, Troy, UT Arlington
BYU is expected to transition from the WCC to the Big 12 in 2023-24, although as mentioned, it is not excluded that the Cougars may move to anything other than football (which is effectively bound by existing schedule commitments to remain an independent. in 2022) by 2022-23.
Future look: Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Pacific, Pepperdine, Portland, Saint Mary’s, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Diego
The WAC will undergo major changes next season, with Chicago State leaving with no known conference destination and short-lived New Mexico State and Sam Houston both joining Conference USA.
In the additions category, Incarnate Word (Southland) and Southern Utah (Big Sky) are both on their way to 2022-2023. UT Arlington, currently a Sun Belt member, is another potential addition reported. (While not an addition, current WAC member Dixie State will be known as Utah Tech starting next season.)
Future look: Abilene Christian, Cal Baptist, Grand Canyon, Incarnate Word, Lamar, Seattle, Southern Utah, Stephen F. Austin, Tarleton State, UT Rio Grande Valley, Utah Tech (formerly Dixie State), Utah Valley
Conferences without membership change pending (as of January 7, 2022): ACC, Big East, Big South, Big Ten, Big West, Horizon, Ivy, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Mountain West, NEC, Pac-12, Patriot, SoCon, SWAC, Summit