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Report: Purdue Fort Wayne headed to Horizon League

Mastodons may be extinct, but the offseason is not

Indiana v IPFW Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

College hoops never sleeps folks, and the wheels of conference realignment never quite stop turning.

The first hint that something was in the works came on Monday when Purdue Fort Wayne Athletics tweeted that the department would have a major announcement to make Tuesday morning.

The announcement was then spoiled by Jeff Goodman just a few hours later.

The Mastodon seems to be out of the bag, and Purdue Fort Wayne will be leaving the Summit League in favor of the Horizon League. The Mastodons had been a part of the Summit League since 2007. While they failed to make much noise in the league throughout their tenure, Fort Wayne did leave somewhat of a mark in the Summit League history books with a share of the regular season title in 2015-16. The Mastadons subsequently failed to make any further noise by losing in the Summit League Tournament Semifinals and then getting throttled by San Diego State in the First Round of the NIT.

From a basketball standpoint, this is a fairly horizontal move for Fort Wayne; the quality of competition between the two leagues is quite similar. However, geographically, this move certainly suits Fort Wayne. They were fairly isolated from the rest of the Summit League, where most of the members hail from the other side of the Mississippi. Now, Fort Wayne is right in the heart of the Horizon League, which is predominantly populated by Great Lakes and Ohio Valley campuses.

Additionally, this move now gives Fort Wayne an in-state opponent for league play: IUPUI. IUPUI and Fort Wayne already have some semblance of bad blood. The Jaguars also defected from the Summit League in 2017, but before doing so, spoiled Fort Wayne’s 2015-2016 season with an 80-77 win in the regular season finale, costing the Mastodons the outright regular season title.