UConn, Michigan State to Open Season in Germany

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College basketball is doing its best to pay homage to American veterans. Beginning this season, one of those tributes will be taking place overseas.

Connecticut and Michigan State have agreed to square offat a U.S. military base in Germany on November 9, three days before Veterans Day. The game will be one of four played on that date—college basketball’s opening day—in a unique venue commemorating the nation’s veterans.

November 10, 2011; San Diego, CA, USA; Michigan State Spartans center Adreian Payne (5) is called for a charging foul during the first half of a game against North Carolina Tar Heels during at the Carrier Classic on board USS Carl Vinson. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

The Ramstein Air Base is the proposed location for the overseas matchup. The military base accommodates the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and serves as a NATO installation as well. The venue is pending formal approval by the U.S. Department of Defense, which negotiated the event with ESPN.

Three other games scheduled for November 9 will be played at sites with naval backdrops. Syracuse will play San Diego State on the flight deck of the USS Midway, off the coast of San Diego. Marquette and Ohio State will open their seasons aboard a ship stationed in Charleston, South Carolina. Georgetown and Florida agreed earlier this month to lock horns on a ship off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida.

This will be the second consecutive year the Spartans have participated in a Veterans Day game. Michigan State battled North Carolina last season aboard the USS Carl Vinson, off the coast of San Diego, in the inaugural Carrier Classic. The Tar Heels won, 67-55, in front of thousands of U.S. veterans plus President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Tom Izzo’s Spartans will likely leave for Germany on Tuesday, November 6, and return to East Lansing Saturday afternoon on November 10, the day after the event. Michigan State follows up the trip to Europe with a quick turnaround game against reigning national championship runner-up Kansas on November 13. The game, slated for a Tuesday night primetime tip in Atlanta, is one of two marquee matchups in the second year of the Champions Classic. Blueblood powers Duke and Kentucky will duke it out in the other matchup.

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