Loyola-Chicago will become the 10th member of the Missouri Valley Conference, replacing the departing Creighton Bluejays, according to a report by KSDK in St. Louis, and confirmed to the Evansville Courier Press by a source with knowledge of the situation.
The Ramblers were one of the founding members of the Horizon League, and have a history that includes... well, what do you know, a National Championship.
But more importantly, it adds a young and improving team to the Missouri Valley as it attempts to fill a major gap left by Creighton. The Bluejays leave the conference for the new Big East as the defending champions of the MVC, and had made the NCAA Tournament in four of the last 10 seasons.
Now, the Ramblers won't be competing for the title this coming season, at least not if everything goes according to what you would expect. Wichita State actually returns members of its team this coming year, and Gregg Marshall waited no time in getting reinforcements with some skills.
Northern Iowa and Indiana State should also challenge for the title.
Still, this is a big step for the school from Chicago, one that should help the program take the next step and become a destination for higher profile recruits from the city and surrounding area. The Ramblers have already made some inroads along that path wooing Milton Doyle in his journey from Florida International and Kansas, and grabbing Cully Payne after his transfer.
The move is expected to be announced officially Friday.