Michigan State basketball opens Big Ten slate at Minnesota on Dec. 8

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

While the Michigan State men's basketball team gets few breaks in its non-conference schedule, the start of Big Ten play in early December appears to offer a bit of a reprieve.

The Spartans’ 2021-22 schedule was released Wednesday, and it includes the usual tough stretch of games to open the season, beginning Nov. 9 in the Champions Classic when Michigan State takes on Kansas at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Malik Hall and Michigan State start league play Dec. 8.

Michigan State also travels to Butler for the Gavitt Games on Nov. 17 while the Spartans play host to Louisville on Dec. 1 as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Michigan State also plays in the Battle 4 Atlantis Nov. 24-26 with a field that includes defending national champion Baylor.

Home games with Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Oakland and High Point round out the non-conference schedule.

The Big Ten slate for Michigan State offers at least a chance for a quick start as the Spartans head to Minnesota on Dec. 8, host Penn State on Dec. 11, travel to Northwestern on Jan. 2 and host Nebraska on Jan. 5. Things get tougher from there as Michigan State heads to Michigan on Jan. 8, the first of two games with its biggest rival. The rematch is in East Lansing on Jan. 29.

In addition to Michigan, the teams Michigan State plays both home and away include Minnesota, Penn State, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Illinois and Maryland. It plays Nebraska, Indiana and Purdue once each at home and plays Rutgers, Iowa and Ohio State once each on the road.

MSU's 2021-22 schedule

►Oct. 27 vs. Ferris State (exhibition)

►Nov. 4 vs. Grand Valley State (exhibition)

►Nov. 9 vs. Kansas (Champions Classic, New York)

►Nov. 12 vs. Western Michigan

►Nov. 17 at Butler (Gavitt Tipoff Games, Indianapolis)

►Nov. 20 vs. Eastern Michigan

►Nov. 24 vs. Loyola Chicago (Battle 4 Atlantis, Nassau, Bahamas)

►Nov. 25 vs. Auburn/UConn (Battle 4 Atlantis, Nassau, Bahamas)

►Nov. 26 vs. Arizona State/Baylor/Syracuse/VCU (Battle 4 Atlantis, Nassau, Bahamas)

►Dec. 1 vs. Louisville (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)

►Dec. 4 vs. Toledo

►Dec. 8 at Minnesota

►Dec. 11 vs. Penn State

►Dec. 21 vs. Oakland (Detroit)

►Dec. 29 vs. High Point

►Jan. 2 at Northwestern

►Jan. 5 vs. Nebraska

►Jan. 8 at Michigan

►Jan. 12 vs. Minnesota

►Jan. 15 vs. Northwestern

►Jan. 21 at Wisconsin

►Jan. 25 at Illinois

►Jan. 29 vs. Michigan

►Feb. 1 at Maryland

►Feb. 5 at Rutgers

►Feb. 8 vs. Wisconsin

►Feb. 12 vs. Indiana

►Feb. 15 at Penn State

►Feb. 19 vs. Illinois

►Feb. 22 at Iowa

►Feb. 26 vs. Purdue

►March 3 at Ohio State

►March 6 vs. Maryland