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The Carrier Classic is a college basketball game that is played on the deck of a U. S. Navy aircraft carrier. The first game was held on November 11, 2011 aboard the USS Carl Vinson, between Michigan State and North Carolina. President Barack Obama attended this game. In 2012, the similar Armed Forces Classic was established. In June 2013, ESPN reported that there would not be a 2013 iteration of the Carrier Classic; no future games are planned.
The inaugural Carrier Classic was played on Veterans Day, November 11, 2011. The North Carolina Tar Heels defeated the Michigan State Spartans, 67-55, before 8,111 fans which included members of the military and the Obama family. Harrison Barnes was the top scorer for North Carolina with 17 points, while John Henson added 12 points. Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne each scored 10 points for Michigan State. The teams wore a special camouflage pattern on their uniforms. During the first half, the game was paused while sailors on board the Carl Vinson conducted the evening retiring of colors at sunset.
Temporary seating was built directly on the flight deck, in addition to the court and lighting. A duplicate setup was built in the hangar bay in case of inclement weather, but was not needed.
The 2012 Carrier Classic was scheduled for November 9, 2012 on board the USS Yorktown in Charleston Harbor, SC. It was supposed to be a double header, with one game featuring the women's teams of Notre Dame and The Ohio State University, and the other game featuring the men's teams of Marquette and The Ohio State University.
Proceeds will benefit charitable organizations including the Wounded Warrior Project, and tickets will be available for veterans and members of the armed forces, as well as for sale to the public. Updates about tickets will appear on the 2012 Carrier Classic's Facebook page.
|November 11, 2011||USS Carl Vinson||San Diego, California||North Carolina||67||Michigan State||55||8,111|
|November 9, 2012||USS Yorktown||Charleston, South Carolina||Notre Dame women||57||Ohio State women||51|
|November 9, 2012||USS Yorktown||Charleston, South Carolina||Ohio State vs. Marquette (cancelled)|
|November 9, 2012||USS Bataan||Jacksonville, Florida||Georgetown vs. Florida (cancelled)|
|November 11, 2012||USS Midway||San Diego, California||Syracuse||62||San Diego State||49||5,119|
- Brennan, Eamonn (7 June 2013). "Aircraft carrier games appear to be kaput". ESPN. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- "North Carolina overwhelms Michigan State in first-ever Carrier Classic". ESPN.com. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "Skylar Diggins leads Irish past Buckeyes in Carrier Classic". ESPN W. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- "Two games on ships canceled". ESPN. Retrieved 10 November 2012.