The 2018-2019 college basketball season is almost upon us and there will be a lot of great games to watch. However, before the season even begins, some schools have already announced their move from one conference to another (Penn State moving out of the Big Ten).
This article provides an up-to-date list on which conferences are seeing changes in membership for next year’s college hoops seasons.
The “college basketball conferences” is a website that tracks the realignment of college basketball. It provides up-to-date information about all the changes in conference affiliation and membership.
Another round of NCAA conference realignment is approaching, and college basketball fans are bracing for substantial changes to the Division I college basketball landscape as they know it.
While much of the attention in college athletics has been focused on the upcoming seismic changes in college football, men’s and women’s college basketball have not been spared. 15 of college basketball’s 32 Division I conferences are set to alter their membership in the near future. The Big 12, SEC, AAC, Conference in the United States, and Sun Belt will see the most changes, all driven by football, although frequent multibid basketball leagues such as the 10th of the Atlantic, Valley of the Missouri, and WCC will also see changes to their footprints.
ESPN set up a conference-by-conference roadmap to the forthcoming changes in Division I to keep track of the developments. Future league footprints are supplied for each impacted conference, as well as the most up-to-date information on the timeline for the upcoming changes. This page will be updated when new information becomes available.
Hartford announced its departure from Division I in May, and the university plans to petition for reclassification into Division III in January 2022. Although Hartford’s transition to Division III isn’t likely to be completed until 2025, departing America East commissioner Amy Huchthausen informed the Lowell Sun in July that the school’s 38-year relationship with the conference will end in 2021-22.
Albany, Binghamton, Maine, UMBC, UMass Lowell, New Hampshire, NJIT, Stony Brook, Vermont, UMBC, UMass Lowell, New Hampshire, NJIT, Stony Brook, Vermont, UMBC, UMass Lowell, New Hampshire, NJIT, Stony Brook,
Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF, all current AAC members, accepted invitations to the Big 12 in September and will leave the American “no later than” the 2024-25 season (although a departure might be arranged in time for the 2023-24 season).
The American stated in October that it will acquire six former Conference USA members: Charlotte, FAU, North Texas, Rice, UAB, and UTSA, boosting the conference’s basketball membership to 13 institutions, pending the departure of the Big 12 defectors. (The Patriot League will include 14 football programs, including affiliate member Navy, which will remain a core member of the league for other sports.) According to reports, all six prospective institutions want to begin AAC play in 2023-24.
Look forward to Charlotte, East Carolina, FAU, Memphis, North Texas, Rice, SMU, South Florida, Temple, UTSA, Tulane, Tulsa, and UAB in the future.
When Jacksonville State and Liberty leave the ASUN in 2023, they will be joining Conference USA for the first time. The league’s other change was the inclusion of Austin Peay from the OVC for the 2022-23 season, which was announced in September.
Look forward to Austin Peay, Bellarmine, Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, North Alabama, North Florida, and Stetson in the future.
In November, Loyola Chicago accepted an offer from the A-10, announcing its departure from the Missouri Valley and the formation of a new league with 15 institutions.
Future contenders include Davidson, Dayton, Duquesne, Fordham, George Mason, George Washington, La Salle, Loyola Chicago, UMass, Rhode Island, Richmond, St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis, and VCU.
In January, Southern Utah announced that school will join the WAC in July 2022.
Eastern Washington, Idaho, Idaho State, Montana, Montana State, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Portland State, Sacramento State, Weber State, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Portland State, Sacramento State, Northern Colorado, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Northern
Oklahoma and Texas declared in July that they will depart the Big 12 for the SEC in the summer of 2025, marking the first significant shot across the realignment bow. Though it has been speculated that a deal may be reached for the schools to depart by 2023, little progress has been achieved in those talks.
Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF, all current AAC members, accepted invitations to the Big 12 in September and will leave the American “no later than” the 2024-25 season (an departure might still be finalized in time for the 2023-24 season). BYU, which competes in both men’s and women’s basketball, is expected to join the Big 12 in 2023-24, however the school might pay the WCC’s relatively cheap buyout and join as a basketball member next season.
Baylor, BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, UCF, West Virginia, TCU, Texas Tech, UCF, West Virginia
In November, James Madison accepted an offer to join the Sun Belt in time for the 2022-23 season, after actively and publicly pursuing an FBS league for the greater part of two decades. As a result, the CAA took the rare (and unprecedented in this phase of restructuring) step of prohibiting the Dukes from winning any further conference championships for the duration of the 2021-22 season. This means that unless CAA presidents and ADs reconsider their hurt feelings and/or the conference’s arcane bylaws and allow JMU to compete in the CAA tournament, the men’s basketball Dukes (who started the season 9-2, including a win over Virginia) would have to earn an at-large bid to reach the NCAA tournament.
Look forward to Charleston, Delaware, Drexel, Elon, Hofstra, Northeastern, Towson, UNC Wilmington, and William and Mary in the future.
No Division I league will be more transformed than C-USA, which will lose nine schools from its current roster by 2023-24: 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).
In November, the league announced that Jacksonville State, Liberty, New Mexico State, and Sam Houston State will join in time for the 2023-24 season.
FIU, Jacksonville State, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, New Mexico State, Sam Houston, UTEP, and Western Kentucky are among the teams to watch in the future.
In 2022, the Valley will exchange a strong program for another excellent program (at least in terms of men’s basketball), when Loyola Chicago leaves for the Atlantic 10 and Belmont joins from the Valley of the Ohio Conference. Last December, the league allegedly reached out to UT Arlington (the Sun Belt’s lone remaining non-football member) to assess the school’s interest in joining, but nothing has come of it.
Look forward to Belmont, Bradley, Drake, Evansville, Illinois State, Indiana State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, and Valparaiso in the future.
In 2022-23, the OVC will lose two schools, with Austin Peay (ASUN) and Belmont (Missouri Valley) joining a league that had already lost Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State due to realignment.
Little Rock, which will transfer from the Sun Belt in 2022-23, is the league’s retaliation.
Eastern Illinois, Little Rock, Morehead State, Murray State, SIU Edwardsville, Southeast Missouri State, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, and UT Martin are among the schools to watch in the future.
In July, Oklahoma and Texas announced that they will quit the Big 12 in 2025 to join the SEC. As previously stated, there has been conjecture that the schools may negotiate an escape from the Big 12 and join the SEC by 2023, but no progress has been made in those talks.
Look forward to Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt in the future.
When Incarnate Word announced that school will join the WAC in 2022-23, the Southland lost one of its newest programs. In response, the conference extended an invitation to Division II Texas A&M-Commerce, which will join the league in 2022 and begin a four-year transition to Division I.
Houston Baptist, McNeese State, New Orleans, Nicholls State, Northwestern State, Southeastern Louisiana, Texas A&M-Commerce, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M-Commerce, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M-Commerce, Texas A&M-Commerce, Texas A&M-Commerce, Texas A&M-Commerce, Texas A&M-Commerce, Texas A
In this round of realignment, the Sun Belt was mostly a buyer, acquiring Marshall, Old Dominion, and Southern Miss from Conference USA and James Madison from the CAA. In 2022-23, JMU will join the basketball side of the league, while the rest will enter in 2023-24.
Little Rock announced in December that it will transfer to the OVC in 2022-23, indicating that the league had suffered considerable attrition. As a result, UT Arlington is the only Sun Belt institution without a football team, and the university’s reported talks with the Missouri Valley might indicate that more is on the way.
Look forward to Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, James Madison, Louisiana, Louisiana-Monroe, Marshall, Old Dominion, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Texas State, Troy, and UT Arlington in the future.
BYU is set to join the Big 12 in 2023-24, yet, as previously said, it’s not out of the question that the Cougars might relocate for all purposes other than football (which is essentially obligated by current scheduling obligations to stay an independent in 2022) before 2022-23.
Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Pacific, Pepperdine, Portland, Saint Mary’s, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and San Diego are among the teams to watch in the future.
Next season, the WAC will see substantial changes, with Chicago State leaving without a clear league destination and newcomers New Mexico State and Sam Houston entering Conference USA.
For 2022-23, Incarnate Word (Southland) and Southern Utah (Big Sky) are both on the way in as additions. (Although not a new team, existing WAC member Dixie State will change its name to Utah Tech starting next season.)
Look forward to seeing Abilene Christian, Cal Baptist, Grand Canyon, Incarnate Word, Lamar, Seattle, Southern Utah, Stephen F. Austin, Tarleton State, UT Rio Grande Valley, Utah Tech (previously Dixie State), Utah Valley in the future.
ACC, Big East, Big South, Big Ten, Big West, Horizon, Ivy, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Mountain West, NEC, Pac-12, Patriot, SoCon, SWAC, Summit: Conferences with no pending membership changes (as of Dec. 14, 2021): ACC, Big East, Big South, Big Ten, Big West, Horizon, Ivy, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Mountain West, NEC, Pac-12, Patriot, SoCon, SW
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