Presumably tired of getting dumped on every March due to playing in a “weak” conference, Wichita State took things into their own hands, jumping ship to the American Athletic Conference.
There's no place like home.#WelcomeWichita to The American family!
— The American (@American_Conf) April 7, 2017
The Shockers will join the AAC in basketball (both men’s and women’s), as well as Olympic sports. They will join traditional basketball powers UConn, Cincinnati, & SMU, strengthening the conference as a whole, while simultaneously improving their stance in the eyes of the tournament committee.
Wichita State went 31-5 last year, including 17-1 in the MVC. However, that was only good for a 7th seed in the NCAA tournament, and put them in a brutal second round match-up with 2nd seeded Kentucky. Similarly, SMU went 30-5 overall last year, including 17-1 in the AAC. However, the committee viewed that as enough to earn SMU a 4th seed in the tournament. KenPom had the Shockers ranked 8th overall, while SMU checked in at 11th. Yet, the seeding disparity was quite large. One has to think the fact that seems to happen semi-frequently played a key role in this decision for the Shockers.