The second iteration of the Veterans Classic — a two-game/four-team event to kick off the college hoops season, airing on CBS Sports Network — will feature Florida, North Carolina, Temple and Navy.
Navy hosts the event. Last season, Michigan State, VCU and Tennessee travelled to Annapolis, Md., for the function. It was pretty great and seen as an appropriate way to induce the college basketball campaign.
“This event is a unique opportunity for our team not just on the court, but it’s a chance for our guys to interact with people their age who are leading a really special way of life in service to our country,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said in a statement.
The event is played in honor of Veterans Day (the holiday is always in conjunction with the start of the college basketball season). And it’ll be good to have UNC involved here, as the Tar Heels will be a near-unanimous preseason top five team. The games will be played on Friday, Nov. 13, the first day of the season. UNC and Temple play at 7 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network, followed by Florida-Navy approximately two and a half hours post.
“It’s a tremendous honor for Carolina basketball to visit the Naval Academy and play in an event that pays tribute to the brave men and women who safeguard our country,” UNC coach Roy Williams said in a statement. “Four years ago we were privileged to play on an active aircraft carrier; we are again blessed with the opportunity to learn more about life at the Academy and also play a game against a quality team such as Temple. Our players, coaches and staff certainly will have an unforgettable experience.”
Temple coach Fran Dunphy actually was enlisted in the United States Armed Forces when he was younger. But because he was a good basketball player, he instead represented the U.S. in global tours of basketball — alongside Army grad Mike Krzyzewski.
“Roy (Williams) and I have talked about what a tremendous opportunity this event is for our programs,” Dunphy said. “To take part in this prestigious college basketball doubleheader that honors the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for this great nation is an honor and a privilege. We are excited to be a part of the Veterans Classic, and to bring our Temple team to the Naval Academy for a game against a great program in North Carolina.”
CBS Sports Network will also be airing an accompanying 30-minute show entitled, “Hoops Confidential: Veterans Classic,” which will chronicle the teams’ tours of the Naval Yard and their excursion and educational glance through the campus and facilities in Annapolis.
“We are proud to once again host the Veterans Classic and pay tribute to all veterans that served our country,” said Navy coach Ed DeChellis.”We have an outstanding field this year with Florida, North Carolina and Temple and for the young men coming to play it’s an opportunity to live the life of a midshipman for a day. The teams will be on our campus during the week of Veterans Day and will interact with the Brigade of Midshipmen, active members of the military and veterans. We have some special things planned for the three visiting teams and it will be a great night of basketball as well. CBS Sports Network has been a great partner and they do an unbelievable job with the production of the event.”