Shipboard games to open college season

June 15, 2012 at 9:14 PM
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 15 (UPI) -- Florida and Georgetown will open next season's college basketball campaign by meeting on the deck of an aircraft carrier, it was announced Friday.

Jacksonville, Fl., Mayor Alvin Brown and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus made the announcement, setting the date for the game on Nov. 9 at the start of Veteran's Day weekend.

"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 Coach Billy Donovan said. "It'll just be an incredible experience."

The game will be one of three played aboard ships that weekend. Marquette and Ohio State will meet off the coast of Charleston, S.C., and Syracuse will take on San Diego State on the flight deck of the USS Midway near San Diego.

The outbreak of such games was touched off by last year's meeting of Michigan State and North Carolina in the "Carrier Classic." They played aboard the USS Carl Vinson in front of more than 8,000 military personnel and U.S. President Barack Obama.

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