MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (AP) — It's about much more than pick-and-rolls and double teams for the four teams starting their seasons aboard the USS Yorktown at the Carrier Classic.
Ohio State's Thad Matta and Jim Foster, Marquette's Buzz Williams and Notre Dame's Muffet McGraw aren't just thinking about getting a win. The coaches agree the trip south is also about giving their players a deeper appreciation for the military and the sacrifice it takes to serve one's country.
"Sometimes, you've got to get out of your box and realize you're in the education business," Foster said Thursday.
The event began last fall with North Carolina and Michigan State playing on an aircraft carrier off San Diego. This year, the classic was expanded and moved across country to the USS Yorktown, a carrier turned naval museum in Charleston's harbor.
Festivities tip off Friday when last year's national women's runner-up, No. 7 Notre Dame, faces No. 19 Ohio State. Then a showdown between the fourth-ranked Buckeyes men's team and Marquette follows on the flight deck turned basketball court. There are stands for about 4,000 people, about half of those military personnel who received donated tickets in thanks for their service.