No. 3 MSU braces for another heavyweight clash

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

East Lansing — The marquee matchups keep coming for No. 3 Michigan State following its championship at the PK80 Invitational.

The road to that title included wins over Connecticut and North Carolina, which at the time was ranked No. 9 in the country. Now the Spartans face another highly ranked team as No. 5 Notre Dame comes to the Breslin Center for a 7 p.m. tip-off on Thursday as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

“We’re expecting a great environment at Breslin and I know how much it does mean to our fans,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “Having Notre Dame in football has been such a good rivalry, and this could be great.

“This is the third team that we’ll play that’s in the top 10. It speaks volumes for our schedule, and I still think it helps us in the long run and give us a better idea what our team is like.”


The Spartans (5-1) enter the game looking to get back on the winning track in the Challenge after losing at Duke last season. Michigan State is 7-10 in the history of the event, and this will be the second time it has played Notre Dame in the Challenge. The Fighting Irish won, 79-78, in overtime in 2014 in South Bend, Ind.

Michigan State hopes to get forward Kenny Goins back for Thursday’s game. He’s missed the last four games with a knee injury, but Izzo said Tuesday that Goins is expected to practice and could get back on the floor against Notre Dame.