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Conference USA

Conference USA was formed in 1995 by merging teams from two conferences - the Great Midwest Conference and the Metro Conference - that did not sponsor Division I football. Ironically, football, as a conference sport, was instituted in 1996.

The twelve charter members were Charlotte, Cincinnati, DePaul, Houston, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, Saint Louis, Southern Mississippi, Tulane, Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) and South Florida (USF). All, but Houston, began athletic participation in 1995. Houston joined competition in the fall of 1996 after fulfilling an obligation to complete its membership with the Southwest Conference. However, three teams were left out of the merger: Dayton, Virginia Commonwealth, and Virginia Tech.

East Carolina was admitted in 1996 as a football-only school and began competition in 1997.

Army would join in 1997 also as a football-only school and would hold that status for the rest of its membership in Conference USA. It began competing in 1998.

Texas Christian, along with East Carolina, were added in 1999 for all-sport competition and began competing in 2001.

Marquette would continue to compete in this conference until 2005-06, when it joined the Big East. Joining Marquette's departure that season were fellow conference members Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville, and USF. Meanwhile, Charlotte and St. Louis left for the Atlantic 10; Texas Christian joined the Mountain West; and Army, a football-only C-USA member, selected to become independent again in football.

To replace the departing members, the conference enlisted Central Florida (football in the MAC and the rest of the sports in the Atlantic Sun) and Marshall from the Mid-Atlantic Conference; Rice, Southern Methodist, Tulsa, and later Texas El-Paso from the Western Athletic Conference.

Currently, the conference also has soccer-only members for men - Florida International (Sun Belt), Kentucky and South Carolina (SEC) - and women, Colorado College (a Division III school with women's soccer as a Division I sport).

Mike Slive, the Great Midwest Conference's only commissioner, was also Conference USA's first commissioner. He would be succeeded in 2002 by Britton Banowsky, who is still serving as the conference's commissioner.

Men's Basketball Divisions

The conference began in 1995 with three divisions that matched its namesake: Red, White, and Blue. In 1997, the divisions were reconstituted to form only two divisions: American and National.

Years Red Division White Division Blue Division
1995-1996 Southern Miss, Tulane, UAB, USF Charlotte, Louisville, Memphis Cincinnati, DePaul, Marquette, St. Louis
1996-1997 Southern Miss, Tulane, UAB, USF Charlotte, Houston, Louisville, Memphis Cincinnati, DePaul, Marquette, St. Louis
American National
1997-2001 Charlotte, Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville, Marquette, St. Louis Houston, Memphis, Southern Mississippi, Tulane, UAB, USF
2001-2003 Charlotte, Cincinnati, DePaul, East Carolina, Louisville, Marquette, St. Louis Houston, Memphis, Southern Mississippi, TCU, Tulane, UAB, USF
  • In 2003, the conference eliminated the divisions altogether.

Men's Basketball Regular Season Champions

  • 1995-96: Cincinnati and Memphis
  • 1996-97: Cincinnati
  • 1997-98: Cincinnati
  • 1998-99: Cincinnati
  • 1999-00: Cincinnati
  • 2000-01: Cincinnati and Southern Mississippi
  • 2001-02: Cincinnati
  • 2002-03: Marquette
  • 2003-04: Charlotte, Cincinnati, DePaul, Memphis, and UAB
  • 2004-05: Louisville
  • 2005-06: Memphis
  • 2006-07: Memphis
  • 2007-08: Memphis

Men's Basketball Conference Tournament

Year Arena City, State Championship Game Result
1996 The Pyramid Memphis, Tennessee (1) Cincinnati 85, (3) Marquette 84 (OT)
1997 Kiel Center St. Louis, Missouri (5) Marquette 60, (3) Charlotte 52
1998 Shoemaker Center Cincinnati, Ohio (1) Cincinnati 71, (2) Charlotte 57
1999 Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Birmingham, Alabama (5) Charlotte 68, (2) Louisville 59
2000 The Pyramid Memphis, Tennessee (9) Saint Louis 56, (3) DePaul 49
2001 Freedom Hall Louisville, Kentucky (3) Charotte 80, (1) Cincinnati 72
2002 Firstar Center Cincinnati, Ohio (1) Cincinnati 77, (2) Marquette 63
2003 Freedom Hall Louisville, Kentucky (3) Louisville 83, (9) UAB 78
2004 U.S. Bank Arena Cincinnati, Ohio (3) Cincinnati 55, (1) DePaul 50
2005 FedEx Forum Memphis, Tennessee (1) Louisville 75, (7) Memphis 74
2006 FedEx Forum Memphis, Tennessee (1) Memphis 57, (2) UAB 46
2007 FedEx Forum Memphis, Tennessee (1) Memphis 71, (3) Houston 59
2008 FedEx Forum Memphis, Tennessee (1) Memphis 77, (4) Tulsa 51
men_s_basketball/conference_usa.txt · Last modified: 2020/12/07 16:49 (external edit)