The NCCA basketball season will tip off tonight with a variety of games. One is being played on a military base in Europe, three games between tonight and Sunday will be played aboard Navy ships and one will be in a revamped building for a former national champion.
The Connecticut Huskies will play their first game without former coach Jim Calhoun who retired because of a bad back. The Huskies will face Michigan State, who is ranked no. 14, in Kasierslautern, Germany at the Ramstein Air base. It is the first time two Division I schools have played a game in Europe.
Ohio State, ranked no. 4 will take on Marquette in Charleston, South Carolina on the USS Yorktown, and Florida, ranked no. 10 will face Georgetown in Jacksonville, Florida aboard the USS Bataan. The defending national champion Kentucky Wildcats, ranked no. 3 in the nation, will take on Maryland in the Barclays Center, the new home for the NBA Brooklyn Nets in New York City.
The former home of the UCLA Bruins, Pauley Pavilion, was given a $132 million facelift and will reopen with Indiana State visiting the No. 13 Bruins. Outside the Pavilion’s north entrance is a statute of John Wooden the former coach of the Bruins.
Inside the Pavilion are cabinets filled with memorabilia from Wooden’s days as the head coach of UCLA. He won 10 national championships as coach of the Bruins, including seven consecutive.
The Syracuse Orange, ranked no. 9 will face San Diego State ranked no. 20 in the third game played on board a ship as they meet in San Diego on the USS Midway on Sunday.