I know that the College Basketball season officially started on Monday - but the Veterans Day "Carrier Classic" between UNC and Michigan State tonight feels like the true kickoff to the season. These two storied basketball programs will be playing a game outdoors on an Aircraft Carrier, the U.S.S. Carl Vinson, on which Navy Seals buried Osama Bin Laden at sea. The carrier is docked in the Naval Harbor off the coast of San Diego and will host President Obama and many active duty men and women of the armed forces. I'll have a prediction on the game after the jump, but first - here's a pretty cool video showing the preparation of the Basketball court on the carriers deck:
Michigan State vs. North Carolina (-11), 7pm - ESPN
North Carolina comes into this game as the country's No. 1 ranked team because they are stacked with talent. Pre-Season All American Harrison Barnes returns after many expected him to make the leap to the NBA last April. Tyler Zeller is about as good as any big man in the country. John Henson returns after capturing the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award. And Sophomore PG Kendall Marshall who is quickly becoming one of my favorite players to watch is back to lead this Tar Heels team. It's no mistake that they are the number 1 team in the country right now.
Michigan State is coming off a disappointing 19-15 season last year, and finds itself outside the top 25 to start the season. The Spartans are led by Senior Forwards Draymond Green and Delvin Roe and no longer have their stud PG Kalin Lucas trolling the backcourt. If there's one thing you know about Coach Izzo - there is never a game where his guys don't bust their ass for the entirety of the game. Nothing would surprise me in this game, but I just think UNC flat out has more talent than the Michigan State team.
I'll take the Tar Heels to roll over the Spartans - but more importantly, on this Veterans Day, we should all say a giant THANK YOU to those Men and Women that give us the freedom and protection to write blogs and live our daily lives.