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Spartans to open basketball season in Honolulu

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Tom Izzo

East Lansing – After last season’s early exit from the NCAA Tournament and one of the top recruiting classes in the nation already on campus, the anticipation for the upcoming basketball season at Michigan State is as high as ever.

On Thursday, the 2016-17 schedule was released and there are plenty of highlights for Tom Izzo’s team as the coach enters his 21st season leading the Spartans.

Michigan State opens the season in Honolulu for the Armed Forces Classic in a likely top-10 matchup with Arizona followed four days later in New York with another top-10 battle with Kentucky in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden.

MICHIGAN STATE BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

The Spartans also play in the Battle 4 Atlantis from Nov. 23-25 before hitting the road to play Duke on Nov. 29 in Durham, N.C., for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The non-conference season closes with a visit from Oakland after the teams had an overtime battle last season at The Palace.

Michigan State tips off Big Ten play Dec. 27 at Minnesota and its first conference game at home is Dec. 30 against Northwestern.

The Jan. 7 meeting with Penn State will be played at The Palestra in Philadelphia, one of the iconic basketball venues in the United States that has long been on the bucket list for Izzo.

The Spartans host Michigan on Jan. 29 and return to Ann Arbor to face the Wolverines on Feb. 7. Michigan State’s regular season ends on the road at Illinois on March 1 and Maryland on March 5.

This season’s Big Ten Tournament begins March 8 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C., the first time the tournament has not been played in Indianapolis or Chicago.

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

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