As announced Thursday, the Hokies and Spartans will play Nov. 22 at the Barclays Center, home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, in the nightcap of a Coaches vs. Cancer semifinal doubleheader. Oklahoma and Seton Hall clash in the opener at 7 p.m.
The consolation game is 7 p.m., Nov. 23, followed by the final. Both nights are scheduled for truTV, the Turner Sports-affiliated cable channel that also airs selected NCAA tournament games.
Virginia Tech’s place in the Coaches vs. Cancer event has long been known, but the four teams weren’t bracketed until Thursday.
With the football team idle that weekend, the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament is convenient for Hokies faithful eager for a pre-holiday road trip — shopping at Macy’s, the Rockettes at Radio City. But Tech and Michigan State are at polar opposites of the expectations spectrum.
Conversely, the Spartans (27-9, 13-5) are national championship-caliber. They return four starters — guards Keith Appling and Gary Harris, and center Adreian Payne are the headliners — from a team that tied for second in the Big Ten and reached the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 before losing to Duke.
Because of its low Rating Percentage Index ranking, Virginia Tech is not among the 12 ACC teams participating in the annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Here’s a story from earlier this month by the Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy on Michigan State’s 2013-14 prospects.
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