SOURCE: Wichita State has been unanimously voted into the AAC, pending final paperwork the Shockers are in.— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) April 7, 2017
Pretty smart move for the AAC in terms of cashing in on a WSU team that is primed for a deep run in the NCAA tournament next spring, and thus grab up all of the NCAA tournament units for an easy payday.
The question at hand, though, for Marquette fans and Big East fans in general is what does this mean for Connecticut?
Ever since the Big 12 was eyeing expansion in the summer of 2016, rumors of the Huskies finding a new home for their football team and moving their remaining sports to the Big East have been floating in the college athletic atmosphere. As recently as mid-February, sources close to both sides were admitting that the Big East and Connecticut had been talking about a membership agreement.
However, it would seem that grabbing up Wichita State to bring the league to 12 members in basketball would be a move that the other AAC schools would make to ensure that Connecticut isn’t going anywhere. At the very least, it appears to be a move made to appease UConn. As mentioned above, Connecticut voted to add the Shockers to the league. I presume that this “unanimous vote” thing is largely a public relations move, as any dissent was ironed out before the vote actually took place. Did Connecticut dissent originally? Did UConn make some sort of commitment to the AAC connected to the addition of WSU? Are the Huskies now locked in to staying in the conference for the foreseeable future?
Or is Connecticut not tied down by anything related to Wichita State?
There’s nothing in Pete Thamel’s story for Sports Illustrated that connects the addition of Wichita State to the potential departure of Connecticut. Purely from a basketball perspective, I think it would still be in Connecticut’s best interest to be in the Big East and not the AAC. It’s possible that the Huskies could still be on the move in the future.
Wait and see, I suppose.....