Aug. 9, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's basketball non-conference schedule features three games against teams ranked in the preseason Top 15, six games against teams that participated in postseason play in 2013, and seven opponents from the ACC, Big East, Big 12 and SEC. The slate features three games in two trips to New York City, a Top-3 showdown at a neutral-site in Chicago, a trip to Austin, Texas, a Top-10 showdown in Breslin Center, and a game at the Palace of Auburn Hills, one of five NBA arenas in which the Spartans will play this season.
Combined with the yet-to-be-released Big Ten schedule, the Spartans will face 15 teams that competed in postseason play, including nine that played in the NCAA Tournament. At least eight 2013-14 opponents are ranked in various preseason polls, including six in the Top 15. Knowing MSU's single plays in Big Ten action (at Purdue, at Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota), the Spartans will play as many as 19 of 31 regular-season games against teams that played in the 2013 postseason, including as many as 13 against 2013 NCAA Tournament squads. Twelve of the 31 games are against teams ranked in the preseason Top 25.
"There's no question we've put together another challenging schedule," said MSU head coach Tom Izzo. "It's difficult right from the beginning with games against Kentucky and North Carolina, along with a trip to Brooklyn for the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Add a game at the Palace against Oakland, a road game against Texas in late December, and the Super Bowl Saturday event with Georgetown, and we have a great mix not only of different teams and playing styles, but also venues and atmospheres.
"I'm excited about the home schedule as well for our loyal fans, playing North Carolina at home, in addition to the Big Ten teams that will come to Breslin this season. The Big Ten was outstanding last season, and yet as I look at this year, seeing six teams ranked in the Top 25, sometimes as many as four in the Top 15, I think this year could be even better."
Michigan State opens the season at home on Friday, Nov. 8 against McNeese State, marking the first time the Spartans will open at Breslin Center since the 2010-11 season. That's followed by what promises to be one of the top non-conference games of the college basketball season as MSU will play Kentucky at Chicago's United Center on Nov. 12 in the third-annual Champions Classic (ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET). The Wildcats and Spartans are consensus Top-3 teams, including early preseason rankings from CBSSports.com (UK-1, MSU-3), ESPN.com (UK-1, MSU-3) and SportsIllustrated.com (MSU-2, UK-3).
Later that week, MSU will begin play in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. MSU will host Columbia on Nov. 15 and Portland on Nov. 18. The Spartans will then move on to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., to join the other host schools, Oklahoma, Seton Hall, and Virginia Tech, in the championship rounds on Nov. 22 and 23. The Sooners were an NCAA Tournament squad in 2013. MSU will play Virginia Tech in the second semifinal (approx. 9:30 p.m.; TruTV), with the winner advancing to the championship game (also to be televised by TruTV). Tickets for the championship rounds can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com.
On the Friday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 29), the Spartans host Mount St. Mary's. It will be the first meeting between the two teams since the first round of the 1999 NCAA Tournament, a 76-53 win for MSU. Michigan State will then host North Carolina in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Dec. 4, marking the fifth time the two schools have met in the challenge (tied for the most in challenge history with Minnesota-Florida State), having split the four previous contests. The Tar Heels are a popular pick for a Top-10 team, and a consensus Top-12 selection (CBSSports.com - 8, SportsIllustrated.com - 9, ESPN.com - 12), having also advanced to the third round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
After a break for academic finals, MSU returns to action on Dec. 14 against Oakland at the Palace of Auburn Hills against a Golden Grizzlies squad that returns four starters from a team that participated in the 2013 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. MSU will return home to host North Florida on Dec. 17 before traveling to Austin, Texas to face the Texas Longhorns on Dec. 21 for the seventh time in eight seasons. MSU last traveled to Austin during the 2009-10 campaign. The Longhorns participated in the 2013 College Basketball Invitational (CBI). Following a brief holiday break, MSU will host New Orleans on Dec. 28 in the final home non-conference game, and the last tune-up before Big Ten play begins on either Dec. 31 or Jan. 2.
The Spartans will conclude non-conference play with one final high-profile game. Michigan State will travel to New York City for the second time on the season to play Georgetown on Feb. 1 in Madison Square Garden as part of Super Saturday Hoops at MSG. The game will be part of a doubleheader with Marquette playing St. John's in the other contest. The Hoyas were a No. 2 seed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament and are ranked preseason No. 13 by SportsIllustrated.com. The game will be televised by Fox Sports 1 at 3 p.m.
The Big Ten portion of the schedule will be released at a later date. As mentioned above, the Spartans know they will just play Nebraska and Minnesota at home and Purdue and Wisconsin on the road. The Big Ten Tournament returns to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in 2014. Two exhibition contests will also be announced at a later date.
Big Ten Home Games
Big Ten Road Games
Game times and television plans will be announced at a later date.
Ticket Info: Season ticket holders have until Aug. 15 to notify the Spartan Ticket Office of their renewal plans. New season tickets will be available on Sep. 30 to Spartan Fund Members, Oct. 14 to Varsity S Club Members & Oct. 15 to the public.