Michigan State Basketball’s schedule continues to get updated, now featuring a few quality ACC opponents.
The NCAA back in September moved back the starting date for the beginning of games for the 2020-21 season from Nov. 10 to Nov. 25. However, by now not only would the majority of college basketball programs have played their first game or were about to participate in their season opener in the next few days, but they would also have already had their full schedule set in place.
Just over two weeks till the start of the season, only three non-conference games have in some shape or form been announced publicly as seen below.
The Spartans will appear to open their season against an ACC school in Notre Dame on Nov. 28.
Then it seems that Tom Izzo and his Spartans will travel to face off against another ACC opponent when they play Duke in the Champions Classic in Chapel Hill, NC on Dec. 1.
Michigan State will then travel again to Charlottesville, VA to play their third ACC opponent the Virginia Cavaliers on Dec. 9 in the Big Ten/ ACC Challenge.
Michigan State was supposed to participate in Orlando Invitational and play three games in that tournament but the tournament has been canceled for this year. The Spartans were also supposed to participate in the Gavitt Tipoff Games but those games have been canceled for this season as well. With only three non-conference games scheduled to be played, Michigan State has four available games that they can schedule in non-conference play.
The Spartans like some other basketball programs can still host and or participate in a Multiple Tournament Event but that seems more and more unlikely as the days go on. One team, in particular, Oakland confirmed that they will only be participating in on MTE this season.
The reason it is significant is that they would be the most likely team to have played in an MTE hosted by Michigan State. The Spartans still are likely to host the Golden Grizzlies as in years past but that would still leave Michigan State with three more games to schedule for non-conference play.
You have to believe that an announcement is coming soon and not just from Michigan State but by the vast majority of basketball programs announcing their full non-conference schedules. Though there needs to be flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic that is still ongoing and can affect the cancellation of games as witnessed in college football, the Spartans are almost certain to fulfill every one of those seven available slots for non-conference play.
Only educated guesses can be made about which teams and where they will play those games in non-conference play for Michigan State. Along with the assumption that the Spartans will host Oakland for their fourth game, teams like Eastern Michigan may fulfill a slot in their non-conference slate or another team or two that have not even been mentioned and or rumored to travel to East Lansing to play one of their non-conference games.
Regardless of who the Spartans end up playing in non-conference play, an announcement from the athletic department should be made by next week.