Michigan State won’t be able to ease into the 2018-19 season. The Spartans will open next season against Kansas in the Champions Classic, the team announced Wednesday.
The Champions Classic, which also features Duke and Kentucky, was moved up to Tuesday, Nov. 6. The games were moved after the NCAA approved of a new rule allowing the start of the college basketball season to happen earlier than the second Friday of November.
The 2018 Champions Classic will be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
“The Champions Classic has always served as the unofficial start to the college basketball season, so it only makes sense to move to the earlier date,” Spartans head coach Tom Izzo said in a press release. “Our four great programs, the capacity crowds and the media attention provide a spotlight on our game that’s much needed during an otherwise crowded time in the sports calendar. I can’t think of a better way to tip off the season.”
Michigan State fell to Duke, 88-81, in the 2017 Champions Classic. It was the Spartans’ second regular season game of this season.
Michigan State last faced Kansas in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks knocked out the Spartans with a 20-point victory in the second round.