<
>

Two games on ships canceled

The next time No. 4 Ohio State, No. 10 Florida, Georgetown and
Marquette try to play aboard a ship, they may need more than
their jump shots and fast breaks.

They may want to bring mops and buckets, too.

A pair of big men's college basketball openers were called off
Friday night when the makeshift courts were hardly shipshape.

Instead, the floors became too wet because of condensation and the
matchups were canceled.

Florida led Georgetown 27-23 at halftime in the Navy-Marine
Corps Classic on the USS Bataan in Jacksonville, Fla., when it was
stopped. The game will not count and will not be made up.

"It's just tough around this time, the weather," Florida guard
Kenny Boynton said. "I'm not sure what caused the water, but it's
definitely tough. We've got to get an indoor event, I guess."

Ohio State and Marquette never got started aboard the USS
Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, S.C. The tipoff was delayed for about a
half-hour as coaches, players and officials waited for the
conditions to improve. The weather didn't get better, and the teams
are unlikely to reschedule the meeting this season.

"All were apprehensive about playing the game," referee John
Cahill said. "You could feel the wet spots on the floor. Our
primary concern is with the student-athlete. The last thing we want
is any kid who's got a future in the game of basketball to be
injured as a result of this."

No. 9 Syracuse and No. 20 San Diego State are set to play Sunday
afternoon on the USS Midway in San Diego. The game aboard the
flight deck of the aircraft carrier was originally scheduled for
Friday night, but moved back because of a strong chance of rain and
wind.

"The purpose of the game is to play it on the Midway," SDSU
coach Steve Fisher said.

Late Friday afternoon, the Yorktown hosted a women's game as No.
7 Notre Dame beat No. 19 Ohio State 57-51 without any problems on
the court.

The Ohio State-Marquette matchup was part of the second Carrier
Classic, the first a magnificent spectacle last year between North
Carolina and Michigan State attended by President Barack Obama on
the USS Carl Vinson outside San Diego.

The contest raises money for several groups that help troops and
veterans. It was a showcase for Veterans Day weekend.

Marquette coach Buzz Williams said the lost game wouldn't change
his mind about playing again on an aircraft carrier.

"We'll play anywhere, anytime in this type of event for this
type of purpose," he said.

Florida and Georgetown had no problems on the court in the first
half. The teams warmed up after the break, then players, coaches
and the referees tried to no avail to dry the surface on the
388-foot amphibious assault ship.

Event organizers said they want to try to play it again next
year.

"We've got to go back to work and maybe become meteorologists
and do some things different. We and the Navy are committed to the
event and doing it right," said Alan Verlander, director of sports
and entertainment for the city of Jacksonville.