By Matt Norlander
I'm all for the idea, but can we wait at least until we see how playing a basketball game on an aircraft carrier actually works before we book another one?
Despite all the factors and planning at play, UConn doesn't want to wait. According to the Associated Press, the defending champs are already eager to be on a boat. The impetus for this bubbles from Michigan State and North Carolina being the first teams to play afloat in the sport's history. Their game will take place later this year, appropriately, on Veterans Day. The game will be played on the USS Carl Vinson (pictured above, just cruising along at a cool 23 knots, I'm guessing). It's the ship that buried Bin Laden. The game will be played in San Diego, the same spot UConn's aiming to have it the following season.
Three-time national champion Connecticut has signed a deal with the Morale Entertainment Foundation to play in the second edition of the Carrier Classic basketball game in 2012 aboard an aircraft carrier on San Diego Bay.So Calhoun's signing his team up for engagement in 2012-13. Another indication he has no immediate intentions of retiring, despite the fact he'll be halfway to 71 by that point?
Coach Jim Calhoun and UConn President Susan Herbst say it's an honor to be picked for the game. Mike Whalen, director of the Morale Entertainment Foundation, says UConn's opponent could be Kansas, Texas, Florida, Arizona or Illinois.
This year's Carolina-Michigan State game should hopefully go swimmingly and without a hitch. (It's knot like the flat top's going anywhere!) Still, I think it'd be best to wait and see how it's done, then go ahead and commit. Just be sure this isn't an utter disaster from a fan, money and execution perspective. This year's game is scheduled to be perhaps the toughest ticket all season, as most of the seats (rightfully) will go to men and women in uniform. Is that the plan going forward, and if it is, will a lot of schools want to get involved?
Maybe that's what Connecticut's would-be opponents are doing: waiting. Although, any school that can jump at this opportunity should. It's a marquee event, perhaps destined to become the marquee event, of the first month of college basketball. Few things will get your program to more eyes across the country than this, I'd think. It's innovative and a great way to market the sport. Let's just be sure it can be done an annual basis before booking this thing like we do Final Four destinations.
Photo: Getty Images