Florida and Georgetown set to square off in Jacksonville in 2012 Navy/Marine Corps Classic

By Adam Silverstein
June 15, 2012

The Florida Gators will be one of six college basketball programs set to compete on a U.S. Naval ship when they take on the Georgetown Hoyas off the coast of Jacksonville, FL in the 2012 Navy/Marine Corps Classic on Nov. 9, ESPN’s Andy Katz reports.

The U.S. Navy has told the two schools that it is fully supportive of this game, much like it was with the Carrier Classic last year, according to multiple sources. The date is a Friday, the closest non-college football or NFL date to Veterans Day.

Florida-Georgetown is one of three currently scheduled games to be played that day on naval ships, Katz reports. Marquette-Ohio State (Charleston, SC) and Syracuse-San Diego State (San Diego, CA) are also scheduled though none of the three games have been picked up by television as of press time.

“Just being able to do this in our own state, in front of the people who wear the uniform and protect the freedoms we have in this country, I just think it’s a great honor and I truly appreciate that they would want our program for a game like this,” Donovan said in a school release. “It’ll just be an incredible experience.”

The inaugural “Carrier Classic” game was played on Nov. 11, 2011 between North Carolina and Michigan State off the coast of San Diego. It was aired live on ESPN and featured a crowd made up solely of servicemen and servicewomen (along with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama).

The contest, which will be the Gators basketball team’s first game of the regular season, will take place the same day as Gator Growl, which is the day before Florida football hosts Louisiana-Lafayette for homecoming. All proceeds from the event will go to charities supporting veterans.

Scheduling the game also required UF to make some adjustments to its non-conference slate, according to USA Today, which reports that Florida moved their game against Central Florida to Nov. 23, switched their visit to Yale to Jan. 6 and cancelled their game against Richmond previously set for Jan. 5. However, the UCF game had previously been listed as Nov. 23 and Richmond has been postponed until 2013-14.

The Gators are already scheduled to participate in three additional in-season competitions: the Global Sports Main Event, SEC/BIG EAST Challenge and Orange Bowl Basketball Classic. UF will host Alabama State (Nov. 11), Savannah State (Nov. 20) and UCF as part of the GSME. Marquette will travel to Gainesville, FL on Nov. 29 for the Challenge. No opponent has been announced for the OBBC on Dec. 29 in Sunrise, FL.

Florida is also set to host Wisconsin on Nov. 14 and Southeast Louisiana on Dec. 19. The Gators will take on Florida State and Arizona on the road and also face Kansas State (Kansas City, MO) and Middle Tennessee State at neutral sites.

5 Comments

  1. SpikE says:

    Wow. What an ooc schedule. Love it. Wonder who the sunshine classic opp will be. Been to that like 10 straight years.

    • Crock says:

      It’s funny. We went from having the biggest joke of a OOC schedule a few years ago to probably one of the toughest in the nation if not thee toughest.

      • SC_Gator says:

        It’s pretty obvious that Billy D decided after those two seasons that he’d rather have a team that’s been burned on a tough schedule and learns to overcome then one that cruses to a good record to start but can’t hold in the end when adversity hits because they lack and experience doing so.

  2. Spike says:

    So true. Adam- are there any rumors about who we may play at sunshine classic?

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