Men's Basketball Schedule Includes 10 2005 NCAA Tournament Participants Difficult slate could feature 16 nationally televised games. Paul Davis and the Spartans will face a difficult schedule in 2005-06. Aug. 17, 2005 EAST LANSING, Mich. - 2005-06 Men's Basketball Schedule The Michigan State men's basketball team will face a difficult schedule in 2005-06, while gaining some great exposure on national television. The Spartan schedule includes 10 teams that appeared in the 2005 NCAA Tournament, including six non-league opponents (Arizona, Boston College, Connecticut, Georgia Tech, Gonzaga and Kansas) and four league foes (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin). MSU is also slated to appear on television at least 22 times, including up to 16 times on national television (4 CBS, 7 ESPN, 2 ESPN2 and 2 appearances that will either be on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU). The Spartans open the 2005-06 season on the road at Hawaii on Nov. 19. This will be just the second time that MSU head coach Tom Izzo has opened a season on the road. The first time came in his first season as head coach when the Spartans opened in the Maui Invitational against Chaminade. MSU returns to the EA Sports/Maui Invitational in 2005, opening against Chaminade on Nov. 21. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 and tip-off at 9:30 a.m. local time (2:30 ET). In the second round, MSU could face either Gonzaga or Maryland. The final day of the event will feature a meeting with either Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut or Kansas. Every game of the EA Sports Maui Invitational will be broadcast by either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. "Once again, I believe we have one of the best schedules in the country," said Izzo. "Our non-conference schedule with the Maui Invitational, Georgia Tech and Boston College means that by the first week in December, we will be well tested against some of the top teams in the country. I think it's great exposure for our program and Michigan State University to be on national television as many times as we are." MSU returns to the mainland for its home opener on Nov. 27 against IPFW. The Spartans will then host Georgia Tech in the seventh-annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Nov. 30. Michigan State's next three games will come away from the Breslin Center, beginning with a Dec. 3 contest against Arkansas-Little Rock in Grand Rapids' Van Andel Arena. Three days later, the Spartans will matchup against Boston College in a marquee non-conference game at the Jimmy V Classic in New York's Madison Square Garden, televised by ESPN. On Dec. 10, MSU will face Wichita State in the third-annual Spartan Clash at the Palace of Auburn Hills (ESPN, 7 p.m.). "We have a lot of great support throughout the state of Michigan," said Izzo. "We've been fortunate to play in Detroit the last few years and I'm glad to be going back once again this year. But we also have a great following on the west side of the state. The Grand Rapids area is such a great place and Van Andel Arena is an exceptional facility. We are really looking forward to taking our team there, especially with Drew Neitzel and Drew Naymick from that area. It gives some of our fans a chance to see us that might not have the opportunity to watch us play in Breslin." Michigan State closes out the non-conference portion of its schedule with four of the next five games at Breslin, starting with a Dec. 16 meeting against Cleveland State, coached by former Izzo assistant Mike Garland. On Dec. 18, MSU will host Florida International, before traveling to Wisconsin-Green Bay on Dec. 21. Home games against Tennessee Tech (Dec. 21) and Coppin State (Dec. 31) round out the non-league slate. The Spartans face a difficult start to the Big Ten schedule, with three of the first four and seven of the first 11 games on the road, starting with back-to-back trips to Illinois (Jan. 5, ESPN2) and Wisconsin (Jan. 7, CBS) with just one day of preparation in between. The Big Ten home opener comes against Indiana on Jan. 11 (ESPN). MSU returns to the road against Ohio State on Jan. 15 (CBS). "There is no question in my mind that the Big Ten will be the top conference in the country," said Izzo. "There is so much depth in the league that almost every team has a chance to be an NCAA Tournament team. The hard part about the conference schedule is still who plays who and when the games are played. That can make a real difference in who wins the championship." After a week with no mid-week contest, the Spartans return to action against Iowa on Jan. 21 (ESPN), followed by a road game at Michigan (Jan. 25, ESPN Plus Local). MSU returns home against Penn State on Jan. 28 (ESPN Plus Regional), followed by another week with no mid-week game. On Feb. 4, the Green and White will play at Northwestern (ESPN Plus Local). The second half of the Big Ten season opens at home against Purdue (Feb. 8, ESPN Plus Local), followed by back-to-back road trips to Minnesota (Feb. 11, ESPN Plus Regional) and Iowa (Feb. 14, ESPN). The Spartans close out the regular season with four of the final five games at home. MSU hosts Michigan (Feb. 18, ESPN) and Ohio State (Feb. 22, ESPN Plus Local) before traveling to Indiana (Feb. 26, CBS). The final week of the season will see home games against Wisconsin and Illinois. The game against the Badgers will be played on Feb. 28, March 1 or March 2, depending on television. ESPN will televise the game on either Feb. 28 or March 2, while ESPN Plus Local will broadcast the game if it is played on March 1. The regular-season finale against the Illini will be on March 4 and will be televised by either CBS or ESPN Plus Regional. This year's Big Ten schedule does not include trips to Penn State and Purdue, while Northwestern and Minnesota will not play in East Lansing. The 2005 Big Ten Tournament will be held March 9-12 in Indianapolis, Ind.