On March 31, Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reported that the Missouri Valley Conference was interested in extending membership to Horizon League members Valparaiso, Loyola (Illinois), and Illinois-Chicago after the departure of Creighton to the Big East.
The move to the MVC for Valpo, Loyola, and UIC, would leave the Horizon League without its 2012 and 2013 conference champion in Valparaiso and would leave the conference with only six remaining members. There have been rumors stirring that the Horizon League is looking into expansion as well, considering schools such as Oakland University, Robert Morris, IUPUI, and Murray State to name a few.
A jump for Valparaiso from the Horizon League after recent success shouldn't come as much of a shock to those familiar with the conference. Known by many names, the former Midwestern City Conference (1979-1985) and the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (1985-2001) has seen its fair share of winning teams come and go.
Current Atlantic-10 conference member St. Louis University left the conference in 1991 after posting a 154-126 overall record with three trips to the NIT in 1986, 1988, and 1989.
Xavier University is now headed for the Big East, but from 1979-1995 as members of the Horizon League they racked up 285 wins and only 112 losses; heading to the NCAA Tournament seven times, once reaching the Sweet Sixteen.
Most recently Butler University left the Horizon League for the A-10 and now the Big East. From 1979-2012 in the Horizon League, the Bulldogs won seven conference championships, made ten NCAA tournament appearances, four Sweet Sixteen's, two Elite Eight's and two Final Four's.
The move to the MVC could be a beneficial one for Valparaiso. In their last hurrah as a member of the conference, Creighton and star player Doug McDermott advanced to the Round of 32.
Most notably however are the Wichita State Shockers who have made it to this year's Final Four and the Sweet Sixteen in 2006.
These realignments are worth noting as more and more mid-major teams opt for automatic qualifying conferences. These moves not only bring about potential for new Cinderellas, but they provide former mid-major schools to shed the title that once stigmatized them from national recognition.