Some of the details of the 2022-23 Michigan State Men’s Basketball schedule became clearer this week.
On Monday afternoon, basketball analyst Jeff Goodman announced that the annual Champions Classic event will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 15 in Indianapolis. This is one week later than expected, due to the fact that Nov. 8 will be election day. The Spartans will face the Kentucky Wildcats as a part of a double-header which also includes defending National Champions Kansas versus Duke.
2022 marks the 12th consecutive year of the event and the fourth time that Michigan State has faced Kentucky to open the season. The Spartans are 1-2 in the previous three contests with the Wildcats.
Two of the three previous Champions Classic match-ups between the Spartans and the Wildcats featured a battle between the preseason No. 1 and No. 2 teams. In 2013, Keith Appling, Gary Harris, and Adreian Payne led the No. 2 Spartans to a mild upset of the No. 1 Wildcats in Chicago by a score of 78-74. In the fall of 2019, Cassius Winston’s 21 points were not enough as No. 2 Kentucky returned the favor and defeated the No. 1 Spartans 69-62 in Madison Square Garden.
The other Champions Classic match-up between the two schools occurred in November of 2016 as No. 2 Kentucky blew out a young No. 13-ranked Michigan State squad by a score of 69-48. It was only the second college game for the recruiting class of Miles Bridges, Cassius Winston, Joshua Langford, and Nick Ward.
It is “way too early” to know where the Spartans and the Wildcats will be ranked once the season begins. That said, Jeff Goodman currently has Kentucky ranked No. 10 for 2022-23 season and Michigan State unranked. CBS Sports has the Wildcats ranked No. 4 and the Spartans ranked No. 25. Either way, the Green and White will most likely be a solid underdog.
So far, the Champions Classic is one of the two events that are confirmed on the Spartans’ schedule for 2022-23. Michigan State will also participate in the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Ore. from Nov. 24 to 27. Other participants include Alabama, Iowa State, North Carolina, Oregon, Portland, UConn, and Villanova.
A full list of the confirmed events for the 2022-23 basketball season can be found on Jeff Goodman’s website. It is only May, but college hoops will be back before we know it.