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Western Kentucky will reportedly join Conference USA in 2014

Mar 30, 2013, 3:28 PM EDT

Western Kentucky mascot Big Red AP

Western Kentucky will no longer be a member of the Sun Belt Conference and will instead move to Conference USA in 2014, Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com is reporting.

The Hilltoppers will reportedly take the place of Tulsa, which is reportedly set to move to the soon-to-be-renamed Big East. The addition of Western Kentucky adds to the list of schools that have joined Conference USA recently, including Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee.

Western Kentucky men’s basketball finished 20-16 overall this past season and 10-10 in the Sun Belt. The Hilltoppers won the conference tournament, which earned it an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. Once in, WKU gave No. 1-seeded Kansas a scare before ultimately falling to the Jayhawks, 64-57, in the Round of 64.

Ray Harper has served as the team’s head coach the past two seasons and led the Hilltoppers to two straight NCAA tournament berths.

With realignment continuing, Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com is reporting that Liberty and James Madison top the list of possible schools that could fill the void that has been left vacant in the Sun Belt by Western Kentucky’s move.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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