Michigan State will play Detroit Mercy in basketball for first time since 2001

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

The Antoine Davis Show is coming to Breslin Center.

Michigan State men's basketball will host Detroit Mercy on Friday, Dec. 4, the sixth nonconference game known for the Spartans, who have yet to officially release their schedule.

Rocket Watts, coach Tom Izzo and Michigan State will play Detroit Mercy this season.

This marks the first meeting between the schools since November 2001, and just the fifth meeting in Tom Izzo's tenure as head coach at Michigan State. Izzo actually lost his first three meetings against Detroit Mercy, two at Breslin Center and one in Detroit, the latter in triple-overtime.

Overall, Michigan State leads the series, 45-16. The series dates to 1917.

Detroit Mercy is led by head coach Mike Davis, in his third season, and his son, star player Antoine, a junior who has shattered numerous program scoring records in his first two seasons and is considered to be among the top players in the country.

Other known nonconference games for Michigan State include Duke, Notre Dame, Western Michigan, Oakland and Virginia. The Spartans are finalizing a contract to open against Eastern Michigan, after which an officially announcement on the schedule is expected. That means Michigan State will play every Division I team in the state except for Central Michigan.

Detroit Mercy opens the season with a multi-team event (MTE) at Kentucky, also featuring Richmond and Morehead State, and has a home game with Kent State on Dec. 9. The Titans are expected to pick up at least one more nonconference game.

Western Michigan, which also has confirmed games against Notre Dame and Butler, hasn't released its full nonconference schedule, nor has Central Michigan or Eastern Michigan. Oakland has, and plays Xavier, Toledo and Bradley in an opening MTE — the Golden Grizzlies are getting set to resume practice after a lengthy shutdown amid positive COVID-19 tests for multiple coaches, including Greg Kampe, and players — as well as at Michigan, Purdue, Oklahoma State and Michigan State.

Michigan also hasn't released its nonconference schedule, but besides Oakland, it is known the Wolverines will host Bowling Green, Ball State, Central Florida and North Carolina State.

The college basketball season gets underway Wednesday, Nov. 25.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984