In what has become one of the best traditions in all of sports, the 2012 Carrier Classic will not only involve college basketball powerhouses Marquette and No. 4 Ohio State, the game will take place on the USS Yorktown.
That’s right; a college basketball game on an aircraft carrier to help raise money for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, the Wounded Warrior Project and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society (h/t Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).
As great as the sport is, helping out a great cause will make this event even more enjoyable.
While this will no doubt be an intense game with major implications down the line for each of these elite programs, the fact that the game is being played at a neutral location in front of a national audience won’t allow the fans to read into just how good these two teams will be in 2012.
No matter how the game turns out, the real focus of this event will be all the bells and whistles that come along with the Carrier Classic.
If you love college basketball or just want to be part of history, don’t miss a second of this unique and wild action.
Where: On board the USS Yorktown in Charleston Harbor, SC
When: Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. ET
Watch: NBC Sports Network
For more information, check out the Carrier Classic’s official website.
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What They're Saying
Marquette Player To Watch: Davante Gardner, Forward
After two seasons of getting acclimated to the team and playing under a stellar senior class, it is now time for junior forward Davante Gardner to take the helm of the Golden Eagles and become a star.
With a knack for grabbing rebounds around the basket and his newfound offensive skill set discovered at the end of last season, Marquette will look to Gardner to be the team’s top player Friday and throughout the season.
The bright lights of the national stage can scare even the most promising stars, but the way in which Gardner reacts will depict how well the team plays this season.
If the junior has a huge night, Marquette will likely be dancing in March.
Ohio State Player To Watch: Deshaun Thomas, Forward
With the departure of Buckeyes top star Jared Sullinger to the NBA, Ohio State will be looking for the next young player ready to step up and become the face of the program. It will look no further than junior forward Deshaun Thomas.
Thomas had already stepped up when Sullinger was injured last season, so the team’s expectations for the young star will be major minutes, big offensive numbers and a healthy handful of rebounds in each and every game.
Ohio State is already No. 4 in the nation, so if it wants to remain a national powerhouse throughout the season, the Buckeyes will need Thomas to step up huge starting from the first game.
On the national stage of the Carrier Classic, what better way for Thomas to prove he is ready for the challenge?
Prediction: Ohio State 71, Marquette 66
While each school's fans and the college basketball experts will try to read into this game as a sign of what is to come for the two programs, all the intangibles of playing on an aircraft carrier make this too unique of a situation to truly gauge these squads.
With military personnel all around and the bright lights of a national audience for each team’s season opener, this might not be a representation of things to come for either squad.
Ohio State and Marquette want to win 2012 Carrier Classic, and because of that, this game itself will become very intense.
The Buckeyes have just too much talent to not win this game at the end, but the Golden Eagles will make this very interesting. No matter what the final score is, everyone involved will be winners for having gone through this unbelievable experience.
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