Michigan State finished last season 29-8 overall and 14-5 in the Big Ten. The Spartans finished tied for 1st in the conference during the regular season and defeated Ohio State in the Big 10 tournament championship game. They advanced all the way to the Sweet Sixteen before losing 57-44 to the Louisville Cardinals.
The Spartans lose Senior leader and Big 10 Player of the Year Draymond Green, but return guards Keith Appling and Branden Dawson. Add in a top-10 recruiting class and there is no doubt that Tom Izzo will once again have his Spartans competing for a championship.
The Hurricanes overcame injuries and suspensions to finish 20-13 (9-7 ACC) in Jim Larranaga's first season in Coral Gables. It marked the first time the Hurricanes have finished above .500 in ACC play since moving from the Big East to the ACC.
The Canes return big men Kenny Kadji (6'11, 251) and Reggie Johnson (6'10, 284) along with guard Durand Scott, and hope to improve on last season's 6th place finish in the conference. The Hurricanes are 1-4 all time in the Big 10/ACC Challenge, with their lone win coming at home in 2009 against Minnesota. The Spartans are 6-6 overall in the Challenge, but only 1-4 on the road.