American Conference adding six schools from Conference USA

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 10:17 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita State joined the American Athletic Conference in 2017 to increase its basketball profile. Four years later, the conference has made football its clear top priority, with a weakened men’s basketball group.

After losing basketball powerhouses Houston and Cincinnati, along with Central Florida, to the Big 12 this summer, the AAC will add UAB, Texas-San Antonio, Rice, North Texas, Charlotte and Florida Atlantic to the league. The AAC is growing to 14 teams with hopes the move will stabilize the league in the short term and prepare it to withstand future poaching of its members.

Wichita State, the only AAC school without football, and Memphis will now carry the banner for AAC men’s basketball. The AAC’s additions are designed for the conference to salvage its self-proclaimed “Power 6″ inclusion and not lose further ground to the Power Five - the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, SEC and Pac 12.

The AAC additions all come from Conference USA, leaving that league both searching for new members and trying to fend off other poachers. The Sun Belt has said it is interested in expanding beyond its current 10 football members and some of C-USA’s remaining eight schools would be geographic fits.

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