Jacksonville, FL (Sports Network) - Florida and Georgetown will open the
2012-13 men's college basketball season on the deck of an aircraft carrier on
November 9, the start of Veteran's Day weekend.
The two teams will play off the coast of Jacksonville at Naval Station
Mayport, Jacksonville mayor Alvin Brown and secretary of Navy Ray Mabus
announced in a joint press conference Friday.
"Just being able to do this in our own state, in front of people who wear the
uniform and protect the freedoms we have in this country, I just think it's a
great honor and I truly appreciate that they would want our program for a game
like this," Florida head coach Billy Donovan said. "It'll just be an
Both Florida and Georgetown made the NCAA Tournament last season. Florida
reached the Elite Eight, while Georgetown fell to NC State after beating
Belmont in the first round of the tournament.
"I think the level of excitement for our whole program will be off the
charts," Florida senior associate athletic director Mike Hill said. "What a
great way to start the season."
Also on November 9, Marquette will open its season on a ship off the coast of
Charleston, SC against Ohio State, and Syracuse will face San Diego State on
the flight deck of the USS Midway off the coast of San Diego.
Last season, Michigan State and North Carolina started the season with the
"Carrier Classic," when the two teams played on the USS Carl Vinson off the
coast of San Diego in front of more than 8,000 servicemen and women.
"It'll draw tremendous attention to basketball in early November, and having
spoken to people at Michigan State and North Carolina, it was a memory of a
lifetime," Hill said.
The Sports Network