Valparaiso Receives Possible Invite to Missouri Valley Conference

Tuesday’s decision was unanimous among nine remaining schools

According to ESPN, CBS Sports Network, and scores of online sites–the Valparaiso Crusaders received an invitation to join the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC).  As most of you know, popular school Wichita State is heading to the American Athletic Conference on July 1.  No word on a decision by the Northwest Indiana school will be made public.

IMHO, I think this would be an excellent fit across all athletic and academic programs in lining up with the Missouri Valley’s core mission as a whole.  Also, this will be a boon as far as coaches, players, fans, and alumni who travel.  Valpo is about a 2 1/2 hour drive (give or take with Chicago traffic at any given minute, day or night) from Loyola and is only two interstates away from hooking up with the Stevenson Expressway (Interstate 55) to hook on to St. Louis and the always crazy Arch Madness during the first weekend of March.

Since Bryce Drew’s winning game-winning trey in the 1998 First Round to take down Mississippi at the Oklahoma City site, Valparaiso has made a bunch of tournament trips but it has not won an NCAA Tournament game in 20 years.

This will be a story I will be monitoring closely in the coming weeks.

Three coaches ink long-term deals

At Minnesota, Richard Pitino (the son of Hall of Fame Coach Rick Pitino in Louisville) signed a contract extension on May 3 keeping him as coach of the Golden Gophers until 2021-2022.  The next day, Leonard Hamilton of rising Florida State inked a deal to stay in Tallahassee for three more seasons.  Finally, on May 10, Nevada will have Eric Musselman continuing to roam the sidelines in Reno after signing a five-year extension through 2021-22.  The Wolfpack are coming off their first NCAA appearance in a decade after achieving 20 wins during this last regular season.

The Pit gets another makeover, in name only

With the recent proliferation of many arenas getting facelifts across the country from Villanova to Northwestern, the University of New Mexico Lobos announced on May 3 that a ten year deal was struck with Dreamstyle Remodeling, a home-remodeling business that operates in four Western states.

According to the Associated Press, this deal marks the largest philanthropic agreement in their athletic department’s history.  Besides the naming rights to The Pit,  it includes contributions to the University of New Mexico’s Business Management School, Performing Arts Center, and children’s hospital.

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