The Mid-American Conference just got bigger.
The conference announced that it is merging with the Eastern Wrestling League on Thursday, forming the second-largest conference in the country.
The schools joining the MAC for wrestling include George Mason, Bloomsburg, Clarion, Edinboro, Lock Haven, Cleveland State and Rider University. The conference now has 15 members; only the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association has more members with 16.
The teams are set to join the MAC in the 2019-2020 season and perhaps the largest change they are bringing is the national qualifiers.
This year, the MAC was awarded 27 spots in the national championships, and the EWL was awarded 14. It has been awarded as many as 18 in recent years.
With the expansion of the conference, the tournament is likely to be much more competitive than it has been recently. Missouri has won the past six MAC championships and is poised to win it again this year. The last team to win other than Missouri was Central Michigan in 2012, which won its last 10 in a row.