San Diego will be in the national spotlight once again when it hosts another nationally televised college basketball game aboard an aircraft carrier on Veterans Day, Nov. 9, between the San Diego State University Aztecs and the Syracuse University Orangemen, the teams announced April 3.
The game that organizer Syndicus Entertainment is calling the Battle on the Midway replaces the Carrier Classic, a college basketball game that was held in November aboard the USS Carl Vinson. President Obama attended the game.
The upcoming contest pits two top-ranked hoops programs, with each having appeared in the most recent men’s collegiate basketball tournament that concluded in New Orleans April 2, won by the Kentucky Wildcats.
The Aztecs lost in the first round of the tournament, while the Orangemen got to the Elite Eight this year. Both SDSU and Syracuse were ranked in the top 20 for much of last season.
The event was arranged between the coaches of the two teams, Steve Fisher of SDSU and Jim Boeheim of Syracuse, while attending this week’s tournament, and with the assistance of the San Diego Sports Commission.
“It is a natural for SDSU to take part in an event which will showcase our community to the country,” said Fisher. “The fact that we are playing Syracuse, the top ranked squad for most of this past season and a perennial top-10 team will help make it a national draw.”
In addition to the game on the Midway which opened as an historic museum in 2004, the weekend will include a concert on the retired carrier on Nov. 11, and “fan experience” exhibits held along the Embarcadero near the Midway. Proceeds from the game and other events will benefit several national and local veterans’ organizations, according to the announcement.