|ESPN.com: College Basketball Nation||[Print without images]|
1. Realignment takes effect: While the rest of the country was preoccupied with the shift that strengthened conferences such as the ACC, Big Ten and SEC, realignment diluted some of the nation's under-the-radar leagues. After its football schools joined other conferences, the WAC invited Division II standout Grand Canyon, the only for-profit institution in America. The CAA lost some of its top perennial contenders: Old Dominion (Conference USA), George Mason (Atlantic 10) and VCU (joined A10 in 2012-13) are all gone now. Georgia State (Sun Belt), too. The Missouri Valley lost powerhouse Creighton to the new Big East. The WAC is a shell of its former self. The Great West is literally no more. And if you're scrambling to find a team that's been reassigned in the realignment mix, there's a good chance that the squad you seek is in Conference USA, which has like 70 members now. The Sun Belt and Southland are equally confusing to keep up with.