Gonzaga, Michigan State To Play On Aircraft Carrier In November
SALT LAKE CITY – A battle of college basketball powerhouses Gonzaga and Michigan State will square off in November on an aircraft carrier.
On November 11, Gonzaga and Michigan State will play each other on the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier in Coronado, California. The game being played on Veteran’s Day will mark the first time a college basketball game will be on an aircraft carrier since 2012.
Michigan State played on the USS Carl Vinson in the 2011 Carrier Classic, falling to North Carolina.
“Obviously, we wanted to win and any game against a program like that is very special, but to me, the game was about so much more than just a win or a loss,” Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said in a statement.
We're excited to participate in the 2022 Armed Forces Classic against Gonzaga this Veterans Day in San Diego, CA 🏀 pic.twitter.com/zWpKtAts5Y
— Michigan State Men's Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) July 13, 2022
In 2012, the games being played on an aircraft carrier ran into issues by rain, wind or condensation on the court, which caused delays or cancellations.
“Those who serve, and who have served, know that the military is the ultimate team sport,” Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, a commander in the Naval Air Forces, told 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.”
🇺🇸 The Zags are back in the @ESPNEvents Armed Forces Classic!
The 2022 basketball game will be held on Veterans Day aboard the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln at Naval Base Coronado.
— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) July 13, 2022
Last season, Gonzaga went 28-4, including 13-1 in WCC play. They lost to Arkansas in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
“This is a special opportunity for our program to support those who fight for our country in our own small way,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said in a statement. “We’re excited to face an incredible program in Michigan State and a great colleague in Coach Izzo. I’m sure this 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.