Michigan State’s complete men’s basketball schedule was released Wednesday afternoon. Here’s looking at the key games on the Spartans’ schedule this season.
Tues., Nov. 12 – vs. Kentucky (at Champions Classic): After winning the national title in 2012, Kentucky didn’t even make the NCAA tournament last season and was bounced in the NIT opener. But they’ve reloaded with the nation’s top recruiting class (it includes Michigan native James Young) and MSU will get an early test from the Wildcats in Chicago.
Wed., Dec. 4 – vs. North Carolina (Big Ten/ACC Challenge): This is a likely battle of top 10 teams and is expected to be one of the highlights of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. This will mark the fifth meeting between the schools in the challenge. The Tar Heels have three starters back from last year’s 25-win team. That includes leading scorer P.J. Hairston, but he’s indefinitely suspended after some offseason trouble.
Sat. Jan. 4 – at Indiana: The Spartans’ first two Big Ten games are on the road and that includes this matchup with the defending regular season conference champions. Indiana swept MSU in the regular season a year ago but have lost stars Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller. The Spartans will also host Indiana on Tuesday, Jan. 21.
Tues., Jan. 7 – Ohio State: MSU gets a prime-time showdown with Ohio State, which lost star Deshaun Thomas but returns Aaron Craft. The Buckeyes won two of the three meetings between the schools last season and beat MSU in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. The Spartans conclude the Big Ten season against the Buckeyes on Sun., March 9.
Sat., Jan. 25 – Michigan: The college basketball world will be watching as ESPN’s College GameDay will be on hand for the first meeting of the season between the Spartans and Wolverines. The two schools split their meetings last year, with each winning on their home floor. Michigan lost Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. from its team that reached the national championship game last season, but the return of Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III have expectations high for the Wolverines again. MSU will visit Ann Arbor on Sun., Feb. 23.
Sat., Feb. 1 – vs. Georgetown (at Madison Square Garden): The Spartans get a break from Big Ten play when they take on the Hoyas the day before the Super Bowl in New York. This will be just the second meeting between the schools. Georgetown went 25-7 last season, but lost star Otto Porter Jr.
Tues., Feb. 9 – at Wisconsin: The Spartans travel to Madison to take on Wisconsin in the only regular season meeting between the teams. Madison has been a tough place to play, but MSU has escaped Wisconsin with wins in its last two visits. Those wins have come by a combined five points.