Michigan State basketball schedule in limbo as Orlando tournaments canceled

Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press
·2 min read

Michigan State basketball's expected start to the season continues to be in flux.

ESPN Events announced Monday it will cancel its planned early-season tournaments in Orlando, where the Spartans were expected to open the 2020-21 season. Reports were the Champions Classic game against Duke would be moved there, and MSU also was expected to play in a multi-team Orlando Invitational this season.

“ESPN Events set out to create a protected environment for teams to participate in early-season events in Orlando,” the company that runs the tournament said in a release. “Based on certain challenges surrounding testing protocols, we opted to resume these tournaments during the 2021-22 season.”

Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo, right, speaks to the media as Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski listens Thursday, April 2, 2015, at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo, right, speaks to the media as Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski listens Thursday, April 2, 2015, at Lucas Oil Stadium.

According to CBS Sports, that does not mean those events won’t move forward elsewhere. Jon Rothstein reported Indianapolis has emerged as a possible host site for the Champions Classic and Jimmy V Classic.

MSU’s schedule, which typically is released in August, has been left in limbo during the pandemic and remains unknown. The NCAA announced in mid-September that teams could begin competition Nov. 25. The Spartans were slated to tip off the season against Duke at the Champions Classic in Chicago on Nov. 10.

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Those NCAA recommendations last month allowed MSU and other teams to begin practicing Oct. 14. Scrimmages and exhibition games will not be allowed this season, and the NCAA also planned for teams to play no fewer than four nonconference games and dropped the maximum number of games allowed by four to 27.

MSU could also host its own multi-team event on campus, something Rothstein said power conference programs are looking into so long as it is against teams which are undergoing similar testing protocols.

Contact Chris Solari: csolari@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari. Read more on the Michigan State Spartans and sign up for our Spartans newsletter.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan State basketball schedule in flux as Orlando events canceled