Are you a fan of early-season college basketball? Of camouflage-themed uniform designs? Of playing basketball on multiple warships, active and decommissioned? Or playing overseas, at odd times, to placate television audiences?
If so, this is your lucky week.
On Friday, five college hoops games with a military feel will be played in less than eight hours — four games on ships, one game on a base in Germany. Here’s a breakdown of who’s playing who where this Friday: (UPDATE: West Coast game moved to Sunday because of weather concerns)
Armed Forces Classic
Presented by: Sears
Who: No. 14 Michigan State vs. Connecticut
Where: Ramstein Air Base, Germany
When: 5:30 p.m. Eastern, so a night-owls-only 11:30 p.m. local start.
Notes: Michigan State is 0-1 in military-themed season-openers, losing to North Carolina last year on the deck of the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson.
Presented by: Wal-Mart
Who: In women’s action, No. 7 Notre Dame vs. No. 19 Ohio State. For the men, it’s No. 4 Ohio State vs. Marquette.
Where: The deck of the decommissioned carrier Yorktown, now a museum in South Carolina.
When: 4 p.m. Eastern for the women, 7 p.m. for the men.
TV: Both games on NBC Sports Network.
Notes: This game is being run by the same group that put together last year’s event, although with a new doubleheader format, a new coast, a new TV partner and the lack of an active flattop, it’ll look much different.
Battle on the Midway
Presented by: Northrop-Grumman
Who: No. 9 Syracuse vs. No. 20 San Diego State.
Where: The deck of the decommissioned carrier Midway, now a museum in San Diego.
When: 5 p.m. Pacific (8 p.m. Eastern). (UPDATE: New tip set for Sunday at 1 p.m. Pacific)
TV: Fox Sports San Diego, but with a number of regional networks picking up the feed (MSG Plus, for example). As always, check your local listings. If you can find it, it might be worth tuning in for the commentary team alone: Broadcasting legend Dick Enberg, former Chicago Bull and NBA executive Steve Kerr, and sideline reporter/star dancer Erin Andrews.
Notes: This game almost didn’t happen, but some late work by local TV and sponsorship groups, plus SDSU, saved the day.
Navy/Marine Corps Classic
Presented by: The city of Jacksonville
Who: No. 10 Florida vs. Georgetown
Where: The deck of the amphibious assault ship Bataan.
When: 9 p.m. Eastern.
TV: NBC Sports Network. Former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, voted least likely to become president of the Dwight Howard Fan Club, will be part of the broadcast team.
Notes: A bit more about the Week of Valor leading up to the game can be found here, an photo of a possible design of the Florida uniforms is here, and for those of you active on Twitter, the Navy suggests using the tag #BBallOnDeck for your hoops-on-an-amphib-related messages. While you’re at it, maybe add a follow?