LAHAINA, Hawaii — Tom Izzo did not sugarcoat Michigan State’s lone loss in the Maui Invitational.

“We got our butt kicked by a team that is picked towards the bottom of the ACC,” the 25th-year coach said of Monday’s stunning 71-66 defeat to unranked Virginia Tech.

He doesn’t think the Hokies will be that bad in the long run this season, though they lost their next two games (to Dayton and BYU). And Cassius Winston believes the Spartans’ biggest discovery in the islands was more existential than tangible.

“We just learned a lot about our team,” Winston said after Wednesday’s 75-62 win over UCLA, which came a day after MSU hung on after nearly blowing a 28-point lead to Georgia. “To come in and kind of get punched in the mouth, we haven’t really had a chance to kind of respond to that that fast.

“We kind of usually got time to practice and go back and watch film and learn what to do to get better. This time, we got punched in our mouth and then we had to play the next day. And I think we did a pretty good job of rallying and getting back out there and playing hard for the next couple days.”

That resolve will be tested quickly. Waiting at the end of the long journey from Maui to East Lansing is another Atlantic Coast Conference opponent that is held in much higher regard, one that has presented Izzo countless troubles over the years.

That would be Duke, which also learned a little something about getting upset this week.

The No. 3 Spartans host the top-ranked Blue Devils in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Breslin Center (ESPN).

However, neither team is expected to hold its ranking after Stephen F. Austin shocked Duke, 85-83 in overtime, on Tuesday in Durham, North Carolina. It ended coach Mike Krzyzewski’s 150-game home nonconference winning streak.

It remains a marquee matchup nonetheless, two teams that slugged it out at the Elite Eight in Washington, D.C., in March. Winston scored 20 points and dribbled out a 68-67 win, Izzo’s second in 13 tries and first since 2005 over Krzyzewski.

And it is another challenging game before Big Ten play begins Dec. 8 at home against Rutgers.

“Everything that happened here is going to help us,” Izzo said Wednesday in Maui. “I’m not big on losing helps you get better. I’m just big on playing against different competition and that’s what I’ve tried to do. We’re going to leave here playing an ACC team, a SEC team, and a Pac-12 team, and it doesn’t matter where they end up.

“If we end up playing somebody in that league in the tournament, we can kind of compare what they did against them, how they played them. That’s what’s been my MO for scheduling the way I do.”

The Spartans (5-2) have not hosted the Blue Devils (6-1 going into Friday’s game vs. Winthrop) since Dec. 3, 2003.

Duke won its only East Lansing appearance, 72-50, at Breslin.

Krzyzewski’s team is different this season, with Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish and RJ Barrett gone, replaced by a crop of freshmen led by big man Vernon Carey Jr. Izzo’s squad has changed as well, with Kenny Goins and Matt McQuaid graduated and Nick Ward playing pro ball.

That means the Spartans will rely on their veterans, particularly Winston, forward Xavier Tillman and guard Aaron Henry to know what Duke wants to do.

“As a team, it’s just making sure that we follow the scouting report to a T, know everybody’s tendencies,” said Tillman, who had 19 points and nine rebounds in going toe-to-toe with Duke one-and-done phenom Williamson. “So if a guy drives left, he’s not going to drive left in a game. If a guy’s a shooter, he’s not going to get an open look in the game.”

Winston said the Spartans are learning how to play consistently, particularly when things start to go awry.

“We got fight in us, we got the talent, we got the potential,” he said. “It’s about bringing every day.”

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