SDSU, Syracuse set for Battle on Midway
San Diego State and Syracuse will play in the inaugural Battle on the Midway basketball game on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum on Nov. 9.
''San Diego State has become one of the best teams in the West and Syracuse is a perennial powerhouse,'' Al Kidd of the San Diego Sports Commission said Tuesday. ''The game is a great matchup with West meeting East to kick off their seasons in beautiful San Diego in a nationally televised broadcast. We have a tremendous matchup that is sure to capture the interests of basketball fans and pay respect to our servicemen and servicewomen on this important national holiday.''
Syracuse earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament before losing to Ohio State in the East Regional final, finishing 34-3.
San Diego State shared the Mountain West Conference regular-season championship and earned its third straight NCAA berth before losing to North Carolina State and finishing 26-8.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim called it ''a tremendous honor'' to play in the game.
''It will be a great experience for our players to compete against a quality program like San Diego State and at the same time be a part of Veterans Day weekend activities in San Diego,'' he said.
SDSU coach Steve Fisher agreed.
''We look forward to bringing the focus of the nation to the military, the city and San Diego State University with this wonderful event,'' Fisher said. ''It is natural for SDSU to take a part in an event which will showcase our community to the country. The fact that we are playing Syracuse, the top-ranked squad for most of this past season and a perennial top-10 team, will help make it a national draw.''
TV plans will be announced later.
The schools have met only once before, with Syracuse beating SDSU in the second round of the 2007 postseason NIT. That was the only meeting between Fisher and Boeheim, both of whom have won a national championship.
The Midway has been berthed on San Diego Bay since 2004.
The Battle on the Midway will be produced by Syndicus Entertainment, in partnership with the San Diego Sports Commission, and be part of a Veterans Day weekend celebration. On Nov. 11, Barry Zito of the San Francisco Giants will host a gala and concert on the ship for his foundation, Strikeouts for Troops.
Last Nov. 11, North Carolina beat Michigan State in the inaugural Carrier Classic on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson. Morale Entertainment Foundation, which produced the Carrier Classic, announced recently that it will move the Carrier Classic out of San Diego for 2012 because no active Navy ship was available.