SDSU, Syracuse set to battle on USS Midway

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SAN DIEGO — For the second season in a row, a college basketball game will be played on an aircraft carrier flight deck in San Diego Bay this fall, with San Diego Stateand Syracuse facing off in the “Battle on the Midway,” organizers announced Tuesday.

The contest will take place on Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. aboard the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, and will be among several days of festivities planned around Veterans Day, according to Syndicus Entertainment and the San Diego Sports Commission.

“The game is a great match-up, with west meeting east to kick off their seasons in beautiful San Diego in a nationally televised broadcast,” said the commission’s Al Kidd. “We have a tremendous match-up that is sure to capture the interests of  basketball fans and pay respect to our servicemen and servicewomen on this important national holiday.”

Last November, North Carolina defeated Michigan State 67-55 in a game put on by Morale Entertainment aboard the USS Carl Vinson, but the Navy said no active aircraft carrier would be available on the West Coast this fall. The promoter was looking for an East Coast site for a game next season, and had also invited SDSU to play.

The Aztecs had a 26-8 record in the recently completed campaign and, earlier today, USA Today rated them 10th in projections for next year. The Orangemen were 34-3 and ranked first for most of this past season.

Other events surrounding this November’s game include the Strikeouts For Troops gala and concert on Nov. 11 at the museum, hosted by Barry Zito, a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants who grew up in San Diego. The organizers said they expect the concert to be on national television.

A “fan experience” expo will also be held along the Embarcadero in front of the museum.

The organizers said proceeds from the game will benefit veterans’ organizations, while money gained from the gala will go to charities supported by Strikeouts for Troops.

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