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Michigan State Basketball: Spartans heading to Hinkle for Gavitt Games

The long awaited visit to Hinkle Fieldhouse will finally happen for Spartans fans lucky enough to get tickets for the Gavitt Games matchup against Butler

Creighton v Butler Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The annual Gavitt Tipoff Games matchups have officially been released for the Big Ten and Big East teams. For any Michigan State Spartans fans out there wanting to bucket list a game at the iconic Hinkle Fieldhouse, the opportunity has finally arrived. The Spartans have been paired up for a road game to take on the Butler Bulldogs in the program’s historic cathedral of college hoops.

The annual series between the Big Ten and Big East began in 2015 and is scheduled through 2022. Michigan State was the last Big Ten team to play a game in the series due to other scheduling obligations in the non-conference, such as the Champions Classic. The Spartans have played one game in the series, winning a road matchup 76-73 at then No. 12 Seton Hall in 2019. The 2020 series was canceled due to COVID-19, however.

The game is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 17 with the St. John’s at Indiana matchup to follow. The start time and broadcast information will be announced at a later date. The game will offer Michigan State Spartans fans both a chance to attend a game at Hinkle, and a long awaited revenge opportunity for Tom Izzo after falling to the Bulldogs in the 2010 Final Four matchup.

The officiating at the end of that 2010 game aside, the game also marks the first visit to Hinkle by MSU since December 20, 1971. That game saw a 77-71 win by the Spartans. The Spartans are 10-5 all-time against Butler, with all but one game in the series coming between 1956 to 1971.

Though most Michigan State fans will know this, Hinkle Fieldhouse is one of the more historic college basketball arenas in the country. It served as the venue for the classic movie “Hoosiers.” Had MSU beaten UCLA in the 2021 First Four round, it would have sent the Spartans to face BYU in the NCAA Tournament Round-of-64 game at Hinkle in March. The game this upcoming season will likely allow for a greater number of MSU fans to attend, and offer Tom Izzo the opportunity to cross Hinkle off of his list of venues he has yet to coach a game in on the “must see” list.

We will be sure to update you with the rest of the non-conference news as it breaks. In the meantime, fans can get excited for a potential trip to Indianapolis to cheer on the Spartans.

The full series pairings for 2021 are below: