Michigan State basketball plans trip to Italy

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Michigan State's basketball team will travel to Italy from Aug. 21-Sept. 1 with games scheduled against international teams.

The school announced the trip Thursday, and it is expected to include stops in Rome, Florence, Maranello, Verona, Trieste and Venice. The Spartans will play a game in Florence on Aug. 25, then participate in a three-game tournament in Trieste from Aug. 28-30 against senior men's national teams from Italy, Russia and Georgia.

Coach Tom Izzo says the trip will be an ''excellent early measuring stick'' for the team and a good bonding experience.

Michigan State reached the Final Four last season for the seventh time under Izzo, who led the Spartans to the 2000 national championship.

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