It's Hauser vs. Hauser as Michigan State lands Virginia in ACC/Big Ten Challenge
On Thursday, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said it looked like the Spartans were going to play Virginia in this season’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
By Friday morning, that news became official as it was announced Michigan State would play at Virginia on Dec. 9.
The game will feature a matchup of Michigan State’s Joey Hauser against his brother, Sam, who is a fifth-year senior for the Cavaliers. Both Joey Hauser, a fourth-year junior, and Sam Hauser transferred from Marquette before last season and each had to sit out the 2019-20 season. In high school, the brothers helped Stevens Point (Wis.) Area High School to back-to-back state championships in 2015 and 2016.
“I’m Joey Hauser and I can not wait to play my brother in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge,” Joey Hauser said in a video posted on Michigan State’s Twitter account.
This will be the second official meeting between the teams in the Challenge, but the third overall. Michigan State defeated Virginia, 82-57, in 2002 at the Breslin Center, a year after the 2001 game at Richmond Coliseum in Virginia was stopped because of a wet floor. This season’s meeting will be the Spartans’ first trip to John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville.
At this point, the game is the only certainty on Michigan State’s schedule. The Spartans are expected to play Duke in the Champions Classic, but the date and site for that event hasn’t been announced after ESPN’s plans to play multiple tournaments in Orlando fell apart.
Izzo said on Thursday, with the Duke and Virginia games looking likely, it will allow MSU to finalize the rest of its schedule.
“We know we're playing Duke,” Izzo said, “and we know if we’re playing Virginia, now you’ve got your anchors. You know your anchors and then you're gonna fill in, and that's kind of the way it's gonna look.”
Virginia is still technically the defending national champion since there was no NCAA Tournament following the 2019-20 season. The Cavaliers defeated Texas Tech two years ago after Texas Tech knocked off Michigan State in the Final Four.