By Trevor Hass
The Baltimore Sun
1:36 PM EDT, June 9, 2014
Navy will host the inaugural Veterans Classic at the Naval Academy men's basketball event on Friday, Nov. 14. The Midshipmen will welcome 2014 NCAA tournament teams Michigan State, Tennessee and Virginia Commonwealth to Alumni Hall in what they anticipate will be the first of an annual event running through 2017.
"This should be a terrific event over the next four years featuring some of the best college basketball teams in the country," Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk said in a news release. "We are excited to be able to put on a first class event with our partners from CBS, while also honoring veterans from all the services. It will be an incredible opportunity for our basketball program to host some of the premier basketball programs in the country in Alumni Hall."
The event will kick off the 2014-15 college basketball season three days after Veterans Day. Navy will play Michigan State following the conclusion of Tennessee-VCU, which tips off at 6:30 p.m. The Midshipmen finished 9-21 last season but posted a 7-6 record at home.
The teams will tour the Naval Yard in Annapolis and observe the daily life of Naval officers. They’ll have a chance to see noon meal formation and eat lunch with the Brigade at King Hall, among other things. CBS Sports will broadcast sights and sounds of the event.
Over the next four years, three different teams will come to Navy each year, as the Midshipmen plan to play host to some of the top programs in the nation. The Spartans, Volunteers and Rams all won 24-plus games last season, and Michigan State and Tennessee made the Sweet 16.
“I've been fortunate enough to play in some amazing venues and be part of some great events, but the one thing I've always felt was missing was the chance to play at one of our service academies," Spartans coach Tom Izzo told CBS Sports. "I'm excited to expose my team to the realities of life at the Naval Academy.”
The Veterans Classic is the first of a string of events featuring some of the top teams in the country. The Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Charleston Classic and Coaches vs. Cancer Classic highlight the showcases scheduled to take place in the eight days after the Veterans Classic.
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