Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/30/12

East Lansing, Mich.— While everyone is gearing up for the start of the Spartans 2012-2013 football campaign tomorrow against Boise State, the Spartans basketball schedule was released to the public earlier today.

15 of the 31 teams on the Spartans schedule participated in postseason play in the 2011-2012 season.

As always Izzo puts his team to the test with a tough non-conference schedule as they face the likes of Connecticut, Kansas, Oakland, Miami (Fla.), and Texas.

“We’ve put together a schedule that combines challenges and unique events, giving us great competition on the court and a lifetime of memories,” said MSU head coach Tom Izzo. “For the second straight year, we’ll open the season away from home for the first two games, but the opportunity to play in front of our armed forces in Germany, followed by the prestigious Champions Classic is one that’s only afforded to elite programs. No team will have a more difficult start to its season, but it’s a challenge that we embrace. After all, last year we proved that it can be beneficial regardless of the games’ results.”

The Spartans will face Connecticut in Germany at Ramstein Air Base, and then four days later they will face the Jayhawks in  Atlanta in the Champions Classic.

Travis Trice (AP Photo).

Once league play rolls around Michigan State will play Illinois, Iowa, Northwestern, and Penn State only once,  playing at Iowa and Penn State, while Northwestern and Illinois come to the Breslin.

The Spartans will host Michigan on Feb. 12 for the first of two games between the two rivals. Michigan is ranked No. 5 by both CBSSports.com and ESPN.com.

On December 15th the Spartans will play their first game in Jenison Field House since 1989 when they host Tuskegee.

Once again Izzo feels the needs to prepare his team for postseason play early in the season, as they have some huge games before Big Ten play even gets started. While Izzo’s philosophy is understanding, his team needs to start winning some of these big games to send a message to the rest of the country.

Last year the Spartans lost their two biggest non-conference game vs. North Carolina and Duke, this year they have Connecticut and Kansas back-to-back, and they need to win one of these games to show that they can defeat some of the more solidified teams in college basketball history.

It’s going to be a tough regular season for the Spartans, but Tom Izzo wouldn’t have it any other way, even if it means the Spartans will lose two games early on in the season.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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