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5 Things to Know Before Penn State-Michigan State

Bryce Jordan Center | Photo by Penn State

Penn State opens its Big Ten basketball season tonight against Michigan State at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Here are five things to know before the game.


Tom Izzo has been a college basketball head coach since 1995. Micah Shrewsbwerry has been one since 2021. Izzo is 67 years old. Shrewsberry is 46. Izzo’s Michigan State teams have played in the last 24 NCAA Tournaments. Penn State has been to the Tournament nine times overall, twice in this millennium and zero times since 2011. Izzo is the Dean of Big Ten head basketball coaches, and Shrewsberry is an up-and-comer. Michigan State is established and Penn State is on the rise.

Beating Sparty in the Bryce Jordan Center for the second year in a row would be a sign that the guard is changing.


Penn State is starting Big Ten play, and how well it does in the conference will determine how successful Year 2 of the Shrewsberry era is. In Shrewsberry’s first season, Penn State lost its Big Ten opener to Ohio State at home and ended up going 7-12 in the conference. Going 7-12 was understandable in Shrewsberry’s first year because the program was making a big transition.

This year, going 7-12 would be disappointing for Penn State basketball, and beating Michigan State would be a good start in making sure that doesn’t happen.


Michigan State is off to a slow start this season.

Sparty began the year unranked, and with the exception of a 2OT upset win over then-No. 4 Kentucky, its lived up to that billing this far.

Michigan State is 5-4 overall and is 0-1 in the Big Ten. Izzo’s squad lost its conference opener to Northwestern at home. A loss to Penn State and an 0-2 start will have people doubting even more that Michigan State’s 24-year NCAA tournament streak will continue.


It might seem like a stretch to call a conference opener a must-win for both teams, but it has some substance in this case. An 0-2 conference start would be a problem for Sparty, and Penn State is looking to bounce back from a 2OT loss at Clemson. Penn State has played two games against Power Five schools this year, and lost both. To take the next step as a program, Penn State has to start beating teams like Michigan State consistently. Starting 1-0 in the Big Ten would be a good thing for Penn State as well.


Penn State and Michigan State are scheduled to tip-off at 6:30 on the Big Ten Network. Penn State is a 4.5-point favorite according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Here’s more information.

TV Announcers: Brandon Gaudin (pxp), Shon Morris (color), 

Radio: Penn State Sports Network 

Radio Announcers: Steve Jones (pxp), Dick Jerardi (color), 

SiriusXM: Channel 383, Channel 973 (app)

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