The 2012 Midway Classic has been moved to Sunday, November 11, due to weather forecasts for one of the three NCAA Carrier Classics.
Basically a home game for the San Diego State Aztecs, they’ll have a couple extra days to prepare for Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse Orangemen who will storm the San Diego Bay this weekend.
While the game is intriguing because it kicks off the start of the season and features two preseason ranked teams, the added spectacle of the aircraft carrier makes this a can’t miss sports moment.
Midway’s 972-foot flight deck dwarves the 94-foot NCAA court size in comparison. The sheer size of the carrier will be on display as a makeshift arena is built on its deck and there is still room to spare for another.
The only notable NFL Sunday matchup it will have to compete with is a Michael Vick vs. Tony Romo showdown in Philadelphia that begins at 4:25 p.m. ET.
Take a look at what you need to do to watch this exciting season opener, and what you need to be watching for in the action.
Where: USS Midway Museum, San Diego, CA.
When: Sunday, November 11, 4 p.m. ET
Watch: FOX (Varies, check local listings here)
Listen: ESPN Radio
Betting Line: TBD
No reported injuries.
What’s at Stake?
The 20th-ranked Aztecs could use a big early-season win to help build confidence after being ousted in the first round of the 2012 NCAA tournament.
They have four returning starters and increased depth from transfers and young talent that makes this season full of expectations. Getting off to a good start would certainly be ideal for the SoCal school.
A win for the ninth-ranked Orangemen would do them wonders for their confidence in helping their transition from losing several key players a season ago.
What They’re Saying
Despite the delay, the court has been laid and the stands are set up for Sunday’s Battle on the Midway! (via Twitter handle @AztecJ)
The court is down on the Midway! twitter.com/AztecJ/status/…— Aztweets (@AztecJ) November 7, 2012
Mark Zeigler, a sports writer in San Diego, laid out the Sports Illustrated rankings that lists Syracuse as No. 11 and San Diego State at No. 16.
SDSU is No. 16 in Sports Illustrated preseason Top 25. Indiana is No. 1, NC State is 5, UCLA 10, Syracuse 11, Arizona 15, UNLV 19.— Mark Zeigler (@sdutzeigler) November 6, 2012
Agustin Gonzalez from Rivals.com pointed out the rebounding struggles of the Aztecs and why that might be a problem vs. the Orangemen on Sunday.
#SDSU with just a +1 rebounding edge against undersized UCSD. That doesn't bode well for the much lengthier Syracuse on Friday.— Agustin Gonzalez (@Agustin_ASR) November 6, 2012
Sean Keeley from Nunes Magician ponders how much longer Jim Boeheim will lead the Orangemen.
The start of his 37th season is imminent. How much longer will Jim Boeheim coach the Syracuse Orange? sbn.to/SNo1Hg— Sean Keeley (@NunesMagician) November 7, 2012
Key Matchup: SDSU Backcourt vs. ‘Cuse Backcourt
Jamaal Franklin is the returning Mountain West Player of the year after having a breakout sophomore season. He led the conference in scoring (17.4 PPG) and was fourth in rebounding (7.9 RPG) as a guard.
For the Orangemen, they will need senior Brandon Triche to step up and fill the holes left by the departed Dion Waiters and Scoop Jardine, who have moved on. He’s a starter of 107 games but hasn’t been asked to step up as much as he will be this season.
It won’t be an easy first test in this one for Triche.
Prediction: San Diego State 72, Syracuse 68
The Aztecs are just too deep and too experienced to let the Orangemen walk into their town and upstage them on one of the city’s landmarks. The USS Midway is visible throughout the bay and will provide an exciting venue for this matchup.
Look for San Diego State’s backcourt to work through Jamaal Franklin and to press Syracuse and make them turn the ball over.
It’ll be a good game but ultimately the experienced Aztecs will come away with a close victory.