MSU to face Loyola, coach Drew Valentine in Battle 4 Atlantis opener

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

Michigan State will see a familiar face when it opens play in the Battle 4 Atlantis.

First-round games for the annual tournament that runs Nov. 24-26 were released on Wednesday, and the Spartans will take on Loyola Chicago, which is led by first-year coach Drew Valentine, at noon on Nov. 24.

MSU coach Tom Izzo.

Valentine is the Lansing native who was a graduate assistant under Tom Izzo at Michigan State and is the brother of former Spartan Denzel Valentine. He was named Loyola’s coach earlier this year after Porter Moser left to become the head coach at Oklahoma.

Loyola, which reached the Final Four in 2018, was 26-5 last season and made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

The Michigan State-Loyola winner will face the winner of Auburn-Connecticut. Teams on the other side of the bracket include defending national champion Baylor, Syracuse, Arizona State and VCU.

Twitter: @mattcharboneau