A No. 14 national ranking doesn’t feel like a snub very often, but Michigan State will have a chip on its shoulder in 2012-13 as it looks to prove it belongs with the Big Ten’s trio of preseason Top Five teams. For the Spartans to make a run at defending their share of last year’s conference crown, they’ll need to be ready for a schedule that (surprise, surprise) is among the toughest in the nation.
One of several intriguing nonconference matchups State will face is a visit to East Lansing by the Texas Longhorns. The point guard matchup between Keith Appling and Myck Kabongo will be a highlight reel unto itself, but the clash in the low post is likely to decide which team comes out on top.
Read on for more on the Spartans-Longhorns contest and the rest of the most critical games Tom Izzo’s squad will play this season.