In 2016, the Valparaiso men's basketball team went 16-2 in the Horizon League to win the regular-season title by three games, set a program record for wins at 30-7 and went a program-best 17-1 at home.

But their NCAA tournament plans were derailed with an overtime loss to Green Bay in the league tournament semifinals. The Crusaders made the NIT championship game, but missing the NCAA tourney still stung.

Valparaiso hopes joining the Missouri Valley Conference will help prevent any such scenarios in the future.

The school on Thursday officially accepted an invitation to join the Missouri Valley Conference, effective July 1. The St. Louis-based league announced the offer on May 9.

"The opportunity to be in a conference with the history and tradition of the Missouri Valley was one we needed to pursue," Valparaiso athletic director Mark LaBarbera said. "Being in a conference with a higher basketball profile will help achieve the goals of our basketball program. We feel like we have a chance to get into the NCAA tournament if we don't win the conference.