Conference realignment is now coming for college basketball, again. However, this time it's actually good. Belmont is one of the most consistent programs in the country. They are exactly what a low-major team should strive to be. They are always favored in the OVC, they've competed in NCAA Tournament games and they just win. Now they move to the MVC starting in 2022. That's MASSIVE. The MVC has a history of getting multiple bids. Is it common? Of course not, but it happens. The OVC was lucky to get multiple bids when they had Ja Morant and Belmont. The MVC has had two tournaments of multiple bids the last 5. Not to mention the ceiling for a seed is way higher in the MVC.
At the same time, we have this report.
That would be a football and basketball move. But just focusing on basketball here, the AAC needs to get at least one more decent team in that league. UAB is improving with Andy Kennedy and Colorado State has been a decent program the last few years. You hope one of them stick with the bigger conference. If they miss on those schools, Memphis is going to be looked at like Gonzaga of a potentially dominant team in a weak conference. That's what happens when you lose Cincinnati and Houston. But uh this is concerning.
It doesn't matter what sport you're talking about, that is a red alert for Mountain West programs. You're talking Boise State, San Diego State, Utah State, Nevada, Fresno State,etc. They all have some history in either basketball or football.
Now it sucks that the OVC could be gone. People keep picking teams from that conference and it wouldn't surprise me to see Murray State eventually in the MVC too. But there are just too many teams in college basketball. Creating superconferences at the mid-major level would be awesome. Help create the best conferences as possible and you get a better chance at getting an at-large bid. The MVC lost Wichita State, replacing that with Belmont and potentially Murray State down the road is huge for a conference that we know all about.
Overall it still sucks. I miss the old conferences. I miss the old Big East. I miss the 9 team ACC. I miss Utah in the WAC Andre Miller before going to the MWC. I miss Colorado and Nebraska in the Big 12. It all made sense back then. But if we're going to start getting mid-major conferences that improve, I'll take it. It's a small win, but a win.