East Lansing — While Michigan State departs for a 12-day trip to Italy today, its non-conference basketball schedule was released, highlighted by home games against Louisville and Florida.
The Spartans, coming off a seventh Final Four trip last season under coach Tom Izzo, also play Kansas in the Champions Classic and will travel to Anaheim, Calif., over Thanksgiving to play in the Wooden Legacy where they could potentially face Arizona.
"I'm excited about the non-conference schedule that we've put together," Izzo said. "The first thing that jumps out at me are the Louisville and Florida games at Breslin Center. We are excited to bring some of college basketball's top programs to our home fans this season. It's part of a continual quest to schedule great non-conference games at home for our fans that have been so loyal and give us one of the best home court advantages in the nation."
After exhibition games against Northern Michigan and Ferris State, Michigan State opens the regular season at home against Florida Atlantic on Nov. 13.
The Owls are coached by former Detroit Pistons head coach Michael Curry, and assisted by former Spartan and NBA player Eric Snow.
"It will be great to have Eric Snow back on campus," Izzo said, "and I have a lot of respect for Michael Curry, not only from his time in the NBA as a player and coach, but also as a father of one of our former players Deon Curry."
Non-conference play concludes with a pair of games away from home. The Spartans will play at Northeastern on Dec. 19, as the MSU hockey and men's and women's basketball teams will all play at Northeastern in a two-day span.
The final non-conference is against Oakland at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Dec. 22.
"When you combine the non-conference schedule with what I expect to be a deeper Big Ten in the upcoming season, we will certainly be tested early and often throughout the year," Izzo said.
Michigan State non-conference schedule
Nov. 4, NORTHERN MICHIGAN (exhibition), TBA
Nov. 9, FERRIS STATE (exhibition), TBA
Nov. 13, FLORIDA ATLANTIC, TBA
Nov. 17, vs. Kansas (Champions Classic in Chicago), 10 p.m.
Nov. 20, ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF, TBA
Nov. 23, EASTERN MICHIGAN, TBA
Nov. 26, vs. Boston College (Fullerton, Calif.), 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 27, vs. UC-Irvine/Boise State (Fullerton, Calif.), 5/2:30 p.m.
Nov. 29, vs. Evansville/Providence/Santa Clara/Arizona (Anaheim, Calif.), TBA
Dec. 2, LOUISVILLE (ACC/Big Ten Challenge), 7:15 p.m.
Dec. 5, BINGHAMTON, TBA
Dec. 9, MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE, TBA
Dec. 12, FLORIDA, 6 p.m.
Dec. 19, at Northeastern, TBA
Dec. 22, vs. Oakland (at The Palace), TBA
Big Ten Home Opponents
Big Ten Road Opponents