Gonzaga, Michigan will play on an aircraft carrier in November
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 26: Gonzaga Bulldogs head coach Mark Few reacts as his team takes on the Duke Blue Devils in the Continental Tire Challenge at T-Mobile Arena on November 26, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Blue Devils defeated the Bulldogs 84-81. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY – A battle between college basketball powerhouses Gonzaga and Michigan State will face off in November on an aircraft carrier.
The 11th of November, Gonzaga and State of Michigan will battle it out on the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier in Coronado, California. The game played on Veterans Day will mark the first time a college basketball game has been held on an aircraft carrier since 2012.
Michigan State played USS Carl Vinson in the 2011 Carrier Classic, dropping to North Carolina.
“Obviously we wanted to win and any game against a program like this is very special, but for me the game was more than just a win or a loss,” the head coach said. State of Michigan, Tom Izzo, in a statement.
In 2012, matches played on an aircraft carrier ran into problems with rain, wind, or condensation on the field, leading to delays or cancellations.
“Those who serve and who have served know that the military is the ultimate team sport,” said Vice Admiral Kenneth Whitesell, Commander of the Naval Air Force. Kirk Kenney of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I can think of no better way to salute our men and women in uniform than to celebrate this all-American pastime together on one of our nation’s capital warships.”
Last season, Gonzaga went 28-4, including 13-1 in CMC play. They lost to Arkansas in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
“This is a special opportunity for our program to support those fighting for our country on our small scale,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said in a statement. “We are thrilled to face an incredible program at Michigan State and a great colleague in Coach Izzo. I’m sure it will be a great memory for all of us.
Michigan State went 23-13 overall and 11-9 in the Big Ten last season. They lost to Duke in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.