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Aircraft carrier openers, Nov. 9-11: Maybe this is cheating, and I hope the respective event organizers don't take it the wrong way, but I'm listing all three 2012 carrier games as one entity: Marquette-Ohio State, Florida-Georgetown and Syracuse-San Diego State. The Orange-Aztecs game -- moved from Friday to Sunday due to inclement weather -- is the best one on paper, and the closest thing to a road game we'll see Syracuse play until traveling to Arkansas on Nov. 30 for the SEC/Big East Challenge. But as we learned with last year's Carrier Classic, early-November basketball on the deck of a U.S. warship (or outdoors at all, really) is less about the sport than the spectacle.
Michigan State versus Connecticut, Nov. 9: MSU helped spearhead the Carrier Classic. Now that it's become a bona fide trend, the Spartans and Huskies are taking things up a notch, playing a game at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. You can't fault Michigan State's early-season scheduling creativity, that's for sure.