2022 Armed Forces Classic: Michigan State hoops finalizes non-conference game played on aircraft carrier
The 2022 Armed Forces Classic is a go, and Michigan State basketball will be participating in the unique contest. The game will feature the Spartans facing Gonzaga in a non-conference matchup to be played on the deck of an aircraft carrier.
In a Wednesday afternoon press release from ESPN, the network confirmed the matchup will be played on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. The location of the game will be in the San Diego harbor and will air Friday, Nov. 11 in primetime on ESPN.
“We are honored to have the unique opportunity to stage the Armed Forces Classic on the USS Abraham Lincoln,” said Clint Overby, Vice President, ESPN Events. “First and foremost, we want to thank the men and women of the Navy, and the entire Armed Forces, for allowing us into their world to share their stories and to thank them for their service to our country. We will work with the teams, the Navy and our collective Events group to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants and spectators.”
“I know our players, coaches and staff, and all of Michigan State Athletics are very excited about the opportunity to play a tremendous program like Gonzaga on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln while honoring all of those who serve in our military. This game is big for our program, for Michigan State University and for the Big Ten Conference,” said Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. “This opportunity to play on an aircraft carrier in front of the men and women who willingly put their lives on the line will be an experience that is going to mean something to the young men who will play in the game for a long, long time. I said it the time in 2011 when we played North Carolina on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson – one of the most humbling experiences of my career, and I’ll say it again, we’re going to play one of the top teams in the country and we’re going to be hosted by the No. 1 team in the world.”
Games on an aircraft carrier were also staged as a part of the Carrier Classic in 2011 and 2012. Michigan State appeared in the classic during 2011, a loss to North Carolina.