Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wichita State Could Be Leaving Missouri Valley Conference

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wichita State Could Be Leaving Missouri Valley Conference

Article excerpt

Wichita State in talks to join AAC in fall

Wichita State and the American Athletic Conference are in serious talks to have the school join the league as a non-football member as early as next fall, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations said Friday.

No move would be announced before the end of the NCAA Tournament, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the negotiations.

Any increase in membership would have to be approved by the presidents of the schools in the league.

Officials at Wichita State and the Missouri Valley Conference did not immediately return messages seeking comment from the AP.

AAC spokeswoman Bernadette Cafarelli said the conference would not comment on any internal matters. The conference's commissioner, Mike Aresco, was not immediately available. Aresco has said the league is open to improving the basketball conference but would not be willing to go back to the old Big East model of having multiple non-football schools.

The timing of the school's move was first reported by Sports Illustrated.

The AAC currently has 12 members for football: UCF, Cincinnati, UConn, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Navy, SMU, South Florida, Temple, Tulane and Tulsa.

But Navy is a football-only school. Wichita State, which ended its football program in 1986, would give the league 12 schools for basketball, which would make scheduling easier.

Wyoming wins CBI * Hayden Dalton scored 19 points with 11 rebounds and Justin James added 17 points to carry Wyoming to an 83-59 win over visiting Coastal Carolina to claim the CBI championship.

Dalton sank five of nine from long range in notching his 12th double-double of the season. Wyoming (23-15) won the last two games at home by routs in the best-of-three College Basketball Invitational finals series after dropping the opener by 10 on the road.

Coastal Carolina (20-19) was led by Demario Beck with 17 points, while Jaylen Shaw had 10.

The Chanticleers, who never led, closed within 44-34 after a 3-pointer by Joseph Williams-Powell from the top of the key with 15:37 to play. But James' layup and a trey by Dalton ignited an 18-7 roll that left the Cowboys ahead 62-41.

The Chanticleers never got closer than 18 after that, and the lead eventually reached 81-51 late.

Georgia Tech overachieved * Josh Pastner somehow found a way to turn Georgia Tech's dire preseason outlook into what he called a "miraculous" finish in the NIT championship game.

Pastner, the first-year coach, inherited what appeared to be a talent-thin roster. Some asked if the Yellow Jackets would win any Atlantic Coast Conference games.

Instead, Georgia Tech (21-16) beat three Top 25 teams before falling to TCU 88-56 on Thursday night in the NIT final.

Pastner's team couldn't overcome a poor start in the lopsided loss to the Horned Frogs, but he wasn't about to let that sour the feel-good story of the season. …

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