Michigan State opens against Virginia Tech in Maui Invitational

The Detroit News
Aaron Henry and Michigan State will open the Maui Invitational on Nov. 25 against Virginia Tech.

Michigan State squares off against Duke in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in December, but the Spartans won't have to wait that long to get a shot at an Atlantic Coast Conference foe.

Michigan State will open the Maui Invitational on Nov. 25 against Virginia Tech in a game to be televised on ESPN2, it was announced Thursday. Tip-off is at 5 p.m. EST at the Lahaina Civic Center.

The winner of that game will take on either Dayton or Georgia on Nov. 26.

The other side of the eight-team bracket includes first-round matchups between Kansas and host Chaminade, and Brigham Young and UCLA.

The championship game is slated for 5 p.m. on Nov. 27. 

Virginia Tech finished 26-9 last season, reaching the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16, where it fell to Duke, sending the Blue Devils into the Elite Eight,  where they were ousted by the Spartans.

The Hokies' 26 victories were a program record, but they must replace key players such as Nickeil Alexander-Walker (NBA draft), Kerry Blackshear Jr. (graduate transfer), Justin Robinson (graduation), Ahmed Hill (graduation), and head coach Buzz Williams, who left for Texas A&M.

Michigan State is coming off a 32-7 season in which it won the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles, and advanced to the Final Four, where it fell to Texas Tech.

The Spartans and Hokies have met once before, with Michigan State winning a 2013 matchup, 96-77.

Should Michigan State defeat Virginia Tech, it could face a Georgia team led by Mount Pleasant native and former Michigan State assistant Tom Crean, who enters his second season as the Bulldogs' head coach.

This is Michigan State's fifth appearance in the Maui Invitational, which it won in 1991.

Maui Invitational

At Lahaina Civic Center, Maui, Hawaii

All times EST

Monday, Nov. 25

Game 1: Georgia vs. Dayton, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Game 2: Virginia Tech vs. Michigan State, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)

Game 3: Kansas vs. Chaminade, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

► Game 4: Brigham Young vs. UCLA, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Tuesday, Nov. 26

Game 5: Georgia-Dayton loser vs. Virginia Tech-Michigan State loser, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Game 6: Kansas-Chaminade loser vs. Brigham Young-UCLA loser, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)

Game 7: Georgia-Dayton winner vs. Virginia Tech-Michigan State winner, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Game 8: Kansas-Chaminade winner vs. Brigham Young-UCLA winner, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Wednesday, Nov. 27

Fifth-place game: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Championship: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 5 p.m. (ESPN)

Seventh-place game: Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

Third-place game: Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)