Valparaiso's exit would leave hole in Horizon League

Valparaiso's exit would leave hole in Horizon League

Valparaiso on Tuesday was invited to join the Missouri Valley Conference, and after negotiations are finalized, it's expected to make the leap over the summer.

Valparaiso, best known for its men's basketball team, burst onto the national scene in the 1998 NCAA tournament when it stunned No. 4 seed MS on a buzzer-beater shot and advanced to the Sweet 16.

The MVC also looked at Murray State, Milwaukee and Nebraska-Omaha during its search, which included campus visits. Its teams include recent five-time consecutive national champion North Dakota State, as well as South Dakota State and this year's national finalist, Youngstown State.

Much like in 2013 when the Valley replaced the similarly impactful loss of Creighton, the league has found a weaker-yet-fitting replacement for a loss of one of its basketball powers.

Wichita State looks to win back-to-back MVC Tournament championships, as they won as the No. 1 seed in 2016.

The Crusaders now can move to the MVC after a decade-long tenure in the Horizon League.

The Racers have made 15 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, posting a 3-15 record.

Valparaiso's addition would give the MVC a 50-50 split of public schools (Illinois State, Southern Illinois, Indiana State, Northern Iowa, Missouri State) and private schools (Loyola, Bradley, Drake, Evansville, Valparaiso).

In the 18th-ranked conference in the country, Valpo finished last season with an RPI ranking of 78.

Missouri State president Clif Smart tweeted: "The expansion committee will continue to meet for the next nine months to evaluate further expansion opportunities".

The award is the third career Valley Pitcher of the Week citation for Young and the 10 weekly MVC honor overall for a Bear this season.

There was a spot open for Valparaiso after Wichita State announced its plans to leave the MVC at the conclusion of the basketball season. CBS Sports reported Tuesday morning that Valparaiso has been selected as the 10th team in the conference. Both conferences operate at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. It won 20 or more games in six of the past seven seasons and won or shared the past three Horizon titles.

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