- Eamonn Brennan, ESPN Staff Writer
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On Friday, you'll eschew your usual gold-bottle-filled Friday routine (because you stunt like that) and stay in for each of the 126 games on TV, including and up to the big one: The Carrier Classic, North Carolina-Michigan State, on the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego. It's exciting stuff.
Even more exciting: This Twitter image from Michigan State director of basketball operations Kevin Pauga. It's a photo from the baseline side of the bleachers setup aboard the Carl Vinson, and while the actual floor hasn't been installed yet, it gives you an excellent idea of what we're dealing with here. The bleachers really don't seem to rise all that much; plenty of fans will have the benefit of realizing they're sitting on water throughout the game. Then again, as most of these fans will be servicemen and women, they're probably a little more accustomed to this sort of thing than, say, Joe Q. Spartanbacker.
Anyway, yep, that's pretty much a basketball setup on the deck of an aircraft carrier. I don't need to tell you why this is cool.
The only thing that could derail the gorgeous views Ron Burgundy once admired so much is -- you guessed it -- weather. As Robbi wrote at our North Carolina blog yesterday, relevant weather authorities believe a Pacific storm will hit San Diego on Friday afternoon around 4 or 4:15, which just so happens to be the tip time for the Carrier Classic. On Monday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the weather service had "competing computer models ... left them with little confidence in the current forecast." Today, forecasters seem a bit more certain, and the Union-Tribune is already confirming Plan B.
Plan B, as you already know, involves moving the game below deck into the ship's hangar bay. It's incredible that any ship has that sort of space within it, but it wouldn't be able to house all 7,000 fans with tickets. It's certainly not ideal; all that preparation you saw in the above photo, all that pretty San Diego shoreline, all gone to waste. Bad weather in San Diego? What gives? Is Brick Tamland involved?