The Michigan State Spartans men’s basketball team is set to take on the No. 2 Gonzaga Bulldogs as part of the Armed Forces Classic on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72). The game is the second time the Spartans will play on the flight deck of an active Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. MSU played North Carolina on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in front of then President Barack Obama, falling to the No. 1 ranked Tar Heels 67-55.
While it marks the second time on a carrier flight deck for Michigan State, it will be the third time the Spartans have participated in the Armed Forces Classic. MSU is 0-2 in the event, falling to UConn in the inaugural event in 2012 and to Arizona in 2016. Gonzaga will be competing in the event for the second time, but had its game against Pittsburgh canceled at halftime in 2015 due to condensation issues on the court. The Armed Forces Classic returns this season for the first time since 2019.
Michigan State and Gonzaga have played five times previously, with the Spartans holding a 4-1 advantage. Gonzaga’s lone win came in a triple-overtime matchup as part of the EA Sports Maui Invitational in Maui, Hawaii in November of 2005.
Gonzaga will enter the matchup ranked No. 2 in both the AP and Coaches polls. The Bulldogs defeated North Florida in the team’s season opener on Monday by a score of 107-63. Michigan State, meanwhile, is unranked currently, but defeated Northern Arizona on Monday night at the Breslin Center in a 73-55 victory.
The Lincoln is the fifth carrier in the Nimitz-class and was commissioned Dec. 27, 1982. The Nimitz-class began service with the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), commissioned on May 3, 1975, and ended with the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) commissioned Jan. 10, 2009.
The Lincoln returned to her home port of San Diego Bay on Aug. 11 following a seven-month deployment to the Indo-Pacific. The Lincoln is commanded by Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, the first woman to serve as the commanding officer of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier.
Off to San Diego ✈️ pic.twitter.com/IpcxzgCqUH— Michigan State Men's Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) November 9, 2022
Michigan State Spartans (1-0) vs. No. 2 Gonzaga Bulldogs (1-0)
Date: Friday, Nov. 11
Tipoff: 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT
Odds according to DraftKings Sports Book: Michigan State is an 11.5-point underdog with the Over/Under set at 146.5.
Play-by-Play: Dan Shulman
Analyst: Jay Bilas
We're excited to participate in the 2022 Armed Forces Classic against Gonzaga this Veterans Day in San Diego, CA pic.twitter.com/zWpKtAts5Y— Michigan State Men's Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) July 13, 2022
Location: North Island Naval Air Station, San Diego, California
Stadium: Temporary bleachers on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln (<8,000)
All-Time Series: MSU leads, 4-1
Series on Neutral Courts: Tied, 1-1
Last Meeting: Michigan State 74, Gonazaga 67 (Spokane, Washington, Nov. 10, 2011)
Current Series Streak: Two by MSU (2009-present)
Armed Forces Classic
|Nov. 9, 2012||Ramstein Air Base, Germany||Connecticut vs. No. 14 Michigan State||Connecticut, 66–62|
|Nov. 8, 2013||Camp Humphreys, Korea||No. 19 Oregon vs. Georgetown||Oregon, 82–75|
|Nov.14, 2014||CGAS Borinquen, Puerto Rico||No. 8 Louisville vs. Minnesota||Louisville, 81–66|
|Nov. 13, 2015||Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Japan||No. 9 Gonzaga vs. Pittsburgh||CANCELED|
|Nov. 11, 2016||Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu, Hawaii||No. 10 Arizona vs. No. 12 Michigan State||Arizona, 65–63|
|Nov. 11, 2016||Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu, Hawaii||No. 11 Indiana vs. No. 3 Kansas||Indiana, 103–99|
|Nov. 10, 2017||Ramstein Air Base, Germany||No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 11 West Virginia||Texas A&M, 88–65|
|Nov. 9, 2018||Fort Bliss, Texas||Texas vs. Arkansas||Texas, 73–71 OT|
|Nov. 8, 2019||Alaska Airlines Center, Anchorage, Alaska||Washington vs. No. 16 Baylor||Washington, 67–64|
USS Abraham Lincoln Fast Facts
General Characteristics: Nimitz class
Builder: Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, Virginia
Date Deployed: May 3, 1975 (USS Nimitz)
Unit Cost: About $8.5 billion in constant year FY 12 dollars
Propulsion: Two nuclear reactors, four shafts
Length: 1,092 feet (332.85 meters)
Beam: 134 feet (40.84 meters); Flight Deck Width: 252 feet (76.8 meters)
Displacement: Approximately 97,000 tons (87,996.9 metric tons) full load
Speed: 30+ knots (34.5+ miles per hour)
Crew: Ship’s Company: 3,000-3,200, air wing: 1,500, other: 500
Armament: Multiple NATO Sea Sparrow, Phalanx CIWS, Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) mounts
Air Wing: Approximately 60+
Carrier Strike Group Components: 1 Aircraft Carrier, 2 Guided Missile Cruisers, 2 Anti Aircraft Warships, 1-2 Anti Submarine Destroyers or Frigates.
Michigan State Head Coach: Tom Izzo
MSU Record: 667-267 28th year)
Record against Gonzaga: 4-1
Gonzaga Head Coach: Mark Few
Gonzaga Record: 659-129 (24th year)
Record vs. MSU: 1-3
The USS Abraham Lincoln about ready for a little basketball. Just over 72 hours from tip-off between— Andrew Quinn (@andrewquinny) November 9, 2022
#2 Gonzaga and Michigan State in San Diego pic.twitter.com/6bZg6QYqNC
Don’t forget to follow along during the game with The Only Colors on Facebook, Twitter (@TheOnlyColors) and Instagram (@TheOnlyColorsSBN) all game long, and as always here on the website in our game thread.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.