The Carrier Classic last season between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Michigan State Spartans was such a success that they are duplicating it this year three times, all on opening day.
One of those games will feature the Florida Gators squaring off against the Georgetown Hoyas on a US Naval Ship on November 9 off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida. The U.S. Navy has told both of the schools that they fully support the idea after they saw the positives that came from last year’s game in San Diego.
“The Navy is excited to work with the city of Jacksonville and Naval Station Mayport to bring the Navy-Marine Corps Classic to the First Coast,” Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said in a statement. “The Navy is America’s Away Team; when we are on the job, we operate forward around the globe and often out of sight of the American people. This is a unique opportunity to showcase the Navy, and to join together to honor our veterans and active duty military.”
These games on carrier ships and naval ships are great for college basketball and the for teams that are lucky enough to get to play in them. To be able to say you played in one of these games is something that they will tell their family for year’s to come and it’s something to take pride in.
This is the third scheduled game to be played on a ship on opening day for college basketball. Marquette will face Ohio State on a carrier ship off the coast of Charleston, SC while Syracuse will take on San Diego State on the retired USS Midway off the coast of San Diego.
All three games feature teams that will likely be ranked in the top-25 once the pre-season polls are released. Georgetown, Syracuse and Marquette will be in the top half of the Big East while Florida will be one of the top teams in the newly expanded SEC. Ohio State are also projected to be one of the favorites in the Big Ten.
Another great move by the NCAA and the schools participating to involve the military on opening night. Last year’s Carrier Classic was a sight to see and this year’s games will likely be the same.