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Florida, Georgetown to play basketball on aircraft carrier in Jacksonville

5:11 PM, Jun 15, 2012   |    comments
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By Raphielle Johnson,

The Carrier Classic between Michigan State and North Carolina last November was such a success that there will be three different games on aircraft carriers this coming season.

Syracuse and San Diego State will play on the USS Midway off the coast of San Diego while Marquette and Ohio State will play on a ship just outside of Charleston, South Carolina.

The third game, as reported by ESPN's Andy Katz, will take place at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville with Florida battling Georgetown on Friday, November 9.

RELATED: Jacksonville mayor credits staff with securing aircraft carrier game

While all three games will likely feature ranked teams and shouldn't lack for quality, are three games on aircraft carriers too much?

Some may say 'yes' but when considering the fact that college basketball really doesn't have an opening day (or weekend) unless you count the 24-hour marathon, playing on a ship may be the closest thing the sport has to such an event.

This game adds another stiff test to the non-conference slates of both teams, as they will also take part in the SEC/Big East Challenge with the Gators hosting Marquette and Georgetown hosting Tennessee.

Florida's non-conference slate also includes games against Arizona (road), Florida State (road), Kansas State (in Kansas City) and Wisconsin (home).

"We're honored to take part in such a special event, and one that brings recognition to the United States Navy and Marine Corps," said Florida head coach Billy Donovan in a city of Jacksonville news release.

"The U.S. Navy has a long and storied history in the city of Jacksonville, and this should be a truly special night. To be able to play an opponent and program the caliber of Georgetown in a city that means so much to the Gator Nation is something we're proud to be a part of."

Georgetown also has two games in the Legends Classic (Georgia, Indiana and UCLA the other participants) and another against Texas in the Jimmy V Classic.

"It is a tremendous honor for our team to be involved with an event that will recognize the contributions of the United States Navy and all of our military," said Georgetown University head coach John Thompson III.

"It will be an incredible learning experience for all involved with our program. We appreciate the opportunity to participate in this historic game with Florida in Jacksonville."

First Coast News contributed to this report.

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