Michigan State basketball braces for early-season string of Top 25 showdowns in nonconference slate
Tom Izzo’s team is facing some tough opponents after the season opener. Michigan State men’s basketball will be tested early on this season, that’s for sure.
Michigan State opens the year with Northern Arizona on Nov. 7. The Spartans then play four straight games against AP Top 25 ranked teams. They’ll be playing No. 2 Gonzaga, No. 4 Kentucky, No. 16 Villanova, and No. 20 Alabama in that order.
First up is No. 2 Gonzaga on Nov. 11 in the Armed Forces Classic. The Spartans have played the Bulldogs fives times, winning four games against them.
Then the team faces No. 4 Kentucky at home. The Spartans and Wildcats are two of college basketball’s blue blood programs and it should be a great matchup.
Michigan State has not had an easy time with Villanova over the years. Villanova will now be lead by first-year coach Kyle Neptune after Jay Wright retired. The Spartans have a 1-3 record against Villanova.
Alabama and Michigan State have not played each other much, but the Crimson Tide won’t be a pushover either. Nate Oats has transformed the identity of Alabama basketball since taking over. Michigan State will be looking for its second all-time win against Alabama.
Izzy’s team might not be ranked to start the year, but there will be some opportunities to do so early this season.