The Sunbelt in basketball has been consistently dominated by one of three teams: Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee State and Troy. That list just got shorter. MTSU announced that it will be joining Conference USA along with Florida International and North Texas.
Last year, MTSU should have made the NCAA tournament, but due to the weakness of the Sunbelt, they lost in the Sunbelt tournament and did not make the 16 seed in the NCAA tournament. The change to C-USA allows for far more room for achievement because it’s very possible to make the NCAA tournament without winning the conference tournament. This is very good news for an MTSU team that could beat a lot of C-USA teams even now.
MTSU has had a strong start to the season, being able to play with one of the best teams in the country in Florida, who then pulled away at the end. MTSU still plays talented opposition in undefeated Ole Miss, and from the look of the Blue Raiders’ play against Florida, they could easily win. MTSU is likely NCAA tournament bound this season.
Overall, MTSU’s addition is beneficial to C-USA as a whole. MTSU is a quality team and is capable of winning multiple conference championships. Oh, and by the way, they could create an amazing rivalry with the Memphis Tigers as two of the best teams in the conference located less than half a state apart.