Missouri Valley Conference extends invite to Valparaiso

The Missouri Valley Conference has decided to replace Wichita State with Valparaiso.

The league announced its nine members unanimously voted to extend an invitation to Valparaiso to join the league, effective for this coming season. The Crusaders have been in the Horizon League since 2007 and have gone to the NCAA tournament twice in the last five seasons.

Murray State, Milwaukee and Omaha were also under consideration.

Wichita State announced it was leaving the Missouri Valley last month for the American Athletic Conference. The Valley also lost Creighton to the Big East in 2013.

Valparaiso's football program is not expected to join the MVC, which has sent at least one team to the FCS championship game each of the past six years. Instead, it will continue to play in the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League.

The Crusaders spent their first four seasons in Division I as an independent before joining the Mid-Continent Conference in 1982. They stayed in the renamed Summit League through 2006-07 then jumped to the Horizon League.

While basketball is the highest-profile program in the athletic department, it's certainly not the only successful team.

The men's tennis team won the 2016 Horizon League title, and the baseball team reached the NCAA tournament in 2012 and 2013. Valparaiso also has appeared in NCAA tournaments in women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.