Conference realignment tracker: Ranking the best moves for the upcoming 2022-23 college basketball season

The future conference realignment took center stage in college sports this week, when news broken thursday that USC and UCLA will be on their way to the Big Ten in 2024. The move marks the latest upheaval in a series of changes sparked last year by the announcement that Texas and Oklahoma will drop from the Big 12 at the SEC in the years to come. .

While the impending additions to the Big Ten and the SEC are seismic changes and will have a particularly stark impact on college football, they will also alter the dynamics of basketball in those leagues. But before we consider theoretical weekday basketball matchups between USC and Rutgers involving five-hour flights across the country, there are plenty of other conference moves underway that will impact basketball. -ball even earlier.

With more than 350 Division I basketball programs all vying for the same national title in 32 conferences — compared to just 10 leagues at the FBS level of college football — the changes can be hard to keep track of. As we turn the page from the 2021-22 hoops season to the 2022-23 campaign, you may notice some teams in new leagues, most of which became official on Friday, with July being the start of the 2022- 23.

To keep things simple, here’s a look at the most impactful conference changes in Division I college basketball for the 2022-23 season.

1. The Ohio Valley loses marks

The Ohio Valley Conference has been one of the most exciting major leagues in college basketball for years, consistently producing exciting conference tournaments and NCAA Tournament darlings. But a significant portion of league basketball leaves for the 2022-23 season as Austin Peay (Atlantic Sun), Belmont (Missouri Valley) and Murray State (Missouri Valley) each prepare to join new leagues after this trio has combined to win 16 of the league’s last 17 regular season titles. As for teams left behind, Morehead State may be able to thrive as the Eagles have won 23 games in consecutive seasons while making three NCAA Tournament appearances since 2009.

2. Division II teams take the plunge

Among the schools entering to replace outgoing OVC programs are a few Division II programs in southern Indiana and Lindenwood. As they move up to Division I, SIU and Lindenwood will go through the NCAA-mandated transition period that will prevent them from being eligible for the NCAA Tournament until 2027. The third incoming OVC member is Little Rock , which joins from the Sun Belt.

While a full division jump can seem daunting, Bellarmine’s successful move from Division II to the Atlantic Sun is proof that results can come early. The Knights won the ASUN Tournament last season in their second year as Division I members, but it was regular-season champion Jacksonville State who represented the league in the NCAA Tournament due to the period. Bellarmine transition. ASUN get another Division II mover in the upcoming season as Queens University joins the league. Other former Division II members moving to Division I this season are Stonehill (Northeast Conference) and Texas A&M Commerce (Southland).

3. MVC gets a makeover

While the departure of a banner program at Loyola Chicago for the Atlantic 10 is a blow to the Missouri Valley, this one has bounced back nicely. With Belmont and Murray State on the way to the OVC, the league gains a pair of strong basketball programs with a great lineage of coaches and a record of competitive play in early NCAA Tournament games. Also joining the MVC is Illinois-Chicago from the Horizon League. Although the Flames haven’t been to the Big Dance since 2004 and have never won an NCAA tournament game, their addition brings the Missouri Valley to 12 members.

4. Sunbelt Changes

Amid all the football-fueled realignment of 2021 that began with Texas and Oklahoma leaving the Big 12 to the SEC, the ripple effects led to the Sun Belt getting one of the first makeovers. . The league will have USA Conference defectors Marshall, Southern Miss and Old Dominion for the 2022-23 season and also add CAA’s James Madison. The league lost Little Rock to the OVC and Texas-Arlington to the WAC, but went well from a basketball perspective.

5. WAC expands

The WAC has always been wacky and something of a revolving door, and it will continue to reinforce that identity in the 2022-23 season. Southern Utah and Texas-Arlington join Big Sky and Sun Belt respectively for the upcoming season before Lamar, New Mexico State and Sam Houston leave the conference next year. Does the WAC always know who is in the WAC?

Changes to the 2022-23 conference

CREW FORMER CONFERENCE NEW CONFERENCE
Austin Peay OVC A SUN
Belmont OVC VMC
Bryant NEC AAC
Hampton Great South AAC
Illinois-Chicago Horizon VMC
James Madison AAC Solar belt
Linden Section II OVC
small stone Solar belt OVC
Loyola-Chicago VMC Atlantic 10
marshal C-United States Solar belt
monmouth MAAC AAC
Mount St. Mary NEC MAAC
Murray State OVC VMC
North Carolina A&T CAEM AAC
Old Dominion C-United States Solar belt
queens Section II A SUN
Southern Indiana Section II OVC
Miss South C-United States Solar belt
Southern Utah big sky WAC
stone hill Section II NEC
stony stream East America AAC
Texas A&M Commerce Section II South Land
Texas-Arlington Solar belt WAC

Upcoming Conference Changes

CREW FORMER CONFERENCE NEW CONFERENCE EFFECTIVE DATE
BYU COE Big 12 2023-24
Charlotte C-United States American 2023-24
Cincinnati American Big 12 2023-24
FAU C-United States American 2023-24
Hartford East America Section III 2023-24
Houston American Big 12 2023-24
Jacksonville State A SUN C-United States 2023-24
lamar WAC South Land 2023-24
Freedom A SUN C-United States 2023-24
New Mexico State WAC C-United States 2023-24
north texas C-United States American 2023-24
Rice C-United States American 2023-24
Sam Houston WAC C-United States 2023-24
UAB C-United States American 2023-24
UCF American Big 12 2023-24
UTSA C-United States American 2023-24
UCLA Pac-12 Big Ten 2024-25
USC Pac-12 Big Ten 2024-25
Oklahoma Big 12 SECOND To be determined
Texas Big 12 SECOND To be determined
Chicago State WAC To be determined To be determined


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