IUPUI has accepted an invitation to join the Horizon League, the school announced Wednesday at a press conference. The move is effective July 1, 2017, meaning the Jaguars’ first Horizon League games will take place in the 2017-18 season.
The move comes only days after Tony Paul of the Detroit News reported that they had received an invitation from the league. The league moved quickly following Valparaiso's departure for the Missouri Valley, and the invite makes sense for both sides.
For IUPUI, it joins a conference that will be more geographically friendly for the program. Traveling to neighboring states like Illinois and Michigan rather than North Dakota or Colorado is much easier on a program. The Jaguars should be able to compete immediately in the league as well.
For the Horizon League, it maintains a footprint in one of the country’s best basketball states. Filling the void left by Valparaiso with another Indiana school ensures that the league has a presence in a talent-rich area. Also, the league headquarters are located in downtown Indianapolis, just minutes away from the IUPUI campus.