EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State women’s basketball head coach Suzy Merchant announced the Spartans’ 2017-18 schedule on Wednesday.
Highlighting the Spartans’ ledger this season is 15 home games, including seven non-conference contests as well as eight Big Ten Conference match-ups.
Another focal showpiece of MSU’s 2017-18 schedule is playing in the inaugural PK80 Invitational to celebrate Phil Knight’s 80th birthday, where Michigan State will take on UConn at Matthew Knight Arena, hosted by the University of Oregon. The Michigan State men’s team will also be playing in the PK80 Invitational, with the men’s action being held in Portland.
Once again, the Big Ten will have a 16-game women’s basketball conference schedule format this season after all 14 teams played 18 games the previous two seasons. Michigan State will play in-state rival Michigan, along with Indiana and Maryland in home-and-home contests, while hosting Rutgers, Northwestern, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska and Wisconsin. The Spartans will play road games at Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue.
For the second-straight season, MSU opens the year with a three-game homestand, starting with Robert Morris on Saturday, Nov. 11. Two days later, the Spartans host in-state foe Oakland on Monday, Nov. 13, before wrapping up the homestand against College of Charleston on Sunday, Nov. 19.
Michigan State’s first road trip of the season is a short one, playing another in-state opponent in Detroit on Tuesday, Nov. 21 to open a three-game stretch away from home. The Spartans head to Oregon for the PK80 Invitational match-up with UConn on Saturday, Nov. 25. MSU’s next game is in the opposite corner of the country as the Spartans will head to Florida to tangle with Miami on Thursday, Nov. 30 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
The Spartans return home to open December, welcoming Western Michigan to East Lansing on Sunday, Dec. 3 to open a five-game home-away alternating stretch. MSU then plays at Notre Dame on Wednesday, Dec. 6 before returning home to host Rhode Island on Saturday, Dec. 9. A week later, the Spartans play at East Tennessee State on Saturday, Dec. 16, then have a quick turnaround, hosting Quinnipiac on Monday, Dec. 18. For the Spartans’ final action before the Holiday break, they’ll head to New Orleans for the University of New Orleans Tournament, taking on South Florida and Mississippi Valley State on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 21-22, respectively.
After the Holidays, Michigan State opens up Big Ten action at Indiana on Thursday, Dec. 28 before MSU’s B1G home opener, hosting Rutgers in a New Year’s Eve contest.
The Spartans open the 2018 portion of their schedule hosting Northwestern on Wednesday, Jan. 3. MSU then embarks on a three-game road stretch, playing at Minnesota (Sunday, Jan. 7), Maryland (Thursday, Jan. 11) and Illinois (Wednesday, Jan. 17). Michigan State returns home to host Indiana on Saturday, Jan. 20, before the first of two in-state clashes with Michigan, playing on the road on Tuesday, Jan. 23. The Spartans then conclude January action by playing at Ohio State on Sunday, Jan. 28.
Michigan State kicks off the final month of the regular season on Thursday, Feb. 1 facing Iowa. The Spartans then play at Penn State on Sunday, Feb. 4. MSU hosts a rare, four-game home stretch during conference play, opening against Maryland on Thursday, Feb. 8. Michigan State welcomes Michigan to the Breslin Center on Sunday, Feb. 11. The Spartans wrap up the homestand and regular-season home action by hosting Nebraska in a Valentine’s Day match-up, then Wisconsin on Wednesday, Feb. 21. The Spartans’ regular-season finale is on Saturday, Feb. 24 against Purdue.
The 2018 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament will be held in Indianapolis for the 21st time, as the event remains at Bankers Life Fieldhouse through 2022. All 14 conference schools will participate in the tournament, which is held Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Sunday, Mar. 4.
Game times will be announced at a later date, following the selection of TV games by the Big Ten.
The Spartans finished the 2016-17 season with a 21-12 record, including going 9-7 in Big Ten action. Michigan State advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time in the last 15 seasons. MSU said goodbye to all-time leading scorer and All-American Tori Jankoska. All-Big Ten honorees Branndais Agee, Taryn McCutcheon and Taya Reimer all return for the Spartans for the 2017-18 season.