The Spartans have added a monster opponent to their non-conference schedule for the two upcoming seasons in the Florida Gators. The news came in a press release from Michigan State and details that the two teams will have a home-and-home series in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. It's certainly a matchup that will attract the attention of the college basketball world and Big Ten fans.
The first matchup between the two teams will take place in East Lansing on December 12, 2015 and the second matchup will occur in Gainesville during the 2017-18 season. Unlike many of today's marquee college basketball matchups, this will not involve any neutral site games.
Both programs have experience enormous success since the late 1990s. Since the 1999 postseason, Florida has appeared in 14 NCAA Tournaments, won two national championships, made four appearances in the Final Four, and seven appearances in the Elite Eight. In similar fashion, the Spartans have appeared in 17 NCAA Tournaments, won the 2000 national championship, made seven appearances in the Final Four, and nine appearances in the Elite Eight.
However, Florida will be transitioning from head coach Billy Donovan to Michael White and from a season where the team failed to make the NIT. Meanwhile, Michigan State is coming off a Final Four appearance and expected to be one of the top contenders in the Big Ten conference. It should be an interesting matchup between two college basketball powerhouses and should be a quality win for either team.