If you haven’t heard already, most of the nation will kick off the 2012-13 season on Friday, Nov. 9.
In one of the more intriguing games of the evening, Michigan State and Connecticut will battle it out, but in a pretty unique location. The two squads are part of a few various “military-themed” games that will take place on Nov. 9, with this contest taking place at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
The two teams depart for Europe on Nov. 7 and will return to the United States following the game on Nov. 10. Given the time difference, the game will tip-off at midnight local time, so it can be shown at prime time in the United States.
The unusual situation will test both squads and their respected coaches in terms of how to handle the unique start time. According to ESPN‘s Andy Katz however, the two teams plans to remain on east coast time, at least to the best of their ability.
Both teams are expected to sleep until after noon and then continue their daily routines with practice and dinner late into the night. The Spartans and head coach Tom Izzo may be a little more equipped for this unique battle having played in the first annual Carrier Classic a season ago. That game against North Carolina took place on an aircraft carrier just off the coast of San Diego.
As for UConn, a new head coach in Kevin Ollie and uncertain expectations following Jim Calhoun‘s retirement and a postseason ban in 2013, make this game all that more interesting. The Huskies’ back court is dynamic, led by junior Shabazz Napier and sophomore play maker Ryan Boatright. Despite the losses from a season ago, don’t be surprised if UConn gives the Spartans a run for their money on Nov. 9.
Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @TheArenaPulse