Wildcat men to tangle with Izzo’s Spartans

NMU’s Isaiah Johnson takes the shot with MTU’s Kyle Monroe on defense Sunday afternoon, December 17, 2017 at the Berry Events Center. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team will be paying a visit to a old alum this fall to open up its season.

It won’t be a friendly visit though as the Wildcats will take on former NMU star and native Yooper Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans in an exhibition game Tuesday, Oct. 30.

This will be the sixth matchup between Northern and MSU, but only the second since the 1975-76 season. The two teams’ most recent game was when the Wildcats went down to East Lansing to start the 2015-16 season.

NMU is coming off its best season in years as the Wildcats had their first winning record and first GLIAC Tournament berth since the 2006-07 season. It also returns two all-GLIAC First Team honorees in seniors Naba Echols and Isaiah Johnson this year along with All-GLIAC Defensive Team members Myles Howard and Sam Taylor.

The Spartans earned their 21st straight Division I NCAA Tournament bid last year, but were upset in the second round by Syracuse.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.