Sites and Teams Announced for the 2015 & 2016 Armed Forces Classic
2016 Event from Naval Base at Pearl Harbor on Veteran's Day
The Armed Forces Classic - a series of Division I men's college basketball games that are played on United States military bases worldwide over a five-year rotation - will originate from the Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler in Okinawa, Japan in 2015 and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu in 2016.
The 2015 Classic on Friday, Nov.13, will feature Gonzaga against Pittsburgh, marking the first meeting between the two nationally-recognized programs. The two teams both played to the third round of the 2014 NCAA Championship.
The 2016 event on Veteran's Day on Friday, Nov. 11 - just under a month from the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor - will pit Indiana vs. Kansas and Arizona vs. Michigan State. Indiana and Kansas have not matched up since 1995, with the Jayhawks leading the series 7-6. Arizona leads the series with Michigan State 4-2, last meeting in 2005. Known for its rich basketball history, the four programs have combined to win 11 NCAA titles and advance to 34 Men's Final Fours.
The games will be televised on ESPN as part of the network's America's Heroes initiative honoring the men and women who are serving and who have served in the United States military, both at home and abroad.
"We're honored to be part of the Armed Forces Classic and in our own small way, support those who fight for our country. This is a special opportunity for our players and staff, one that I'm sure will be a great memory for all of us." - Mark Few, Gonzaga head coach
"It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to play in such a great event. Our goal is always to play in college basketball's top events and the Armed Forces Classic certainly ranks among the best. The trip will also provide an opportunity for our players, coaches, administration and support staff to experience day-to-day life on an overseas military base." - Jamie Dixon, Pitt head coach
"It's a special honor for our program to take part in the Armed Forces Classic at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in 2016. The Armed Forces Classic is a first-class event that pays tribute to the brave men and women of the United States military. We're excited for the opportunity to honor them as representatives of the University of Arizona." - Sean Miller, Arizona head coach
"Indiana University is honored to take part in the 2016 Armed Forces Classic at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. This is one of the premiere events in college basketball and everyone in our program is thrilled and honored to be a part of this. Knowing that we will play on Veterans Day just prior to the 75th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor adds even greater significance and offers us an experience of a lifetime." - Tom Crean, Indiana head coach
"We thought playing in the Armed Forces Classic would be a terrific experience for our players, especially to commemorate such an important time in our country. We're excited to be a part of it and having the chance to play a tradition-rich program like Indiana, one of the true blue bloods of the college game." - Bill Self, Kansas head coach
"To be able to play in the Armed Forces Classic for a second time is certainly an honor not only for the Spartan basketball program, but also Michigan State University. We've been fortunate to play in some unbelievable events over the years, but the opportunity to play at Pearl Harbor is a unique opportunity. The chance to honor and entertain the current military members is amazing in itself, but the opportunity to be a part of the 75th Anniversary recognition of the attacks on Pearl Harbor is truly humbling. As coaches and teams we talk about hard work, overcoming adversity, and sacrifice. This will be a chance to pay tribute in our own little way to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we might enjoy the freedoms we still enjoy today." - Tom Izzo, Michigan State
Armed Forces Classic History
Nov. 14, 2014: Takes place from the United States Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico and features No. 8 Louisville vs. Minnesota.
Nov. 8, 2013: No. 19 Oregon topped Georgetown 82-75 from United States Army Garrison Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.
Nov. 9, 2012: Unranked Connecticut upset No. 14 Michigan State 66-62 from inside a C-5 transport airplane hangar on Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
The Armed Forces Classic is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN.
For more information on the Armed Forces Classic, visit the official website, or follow on Facebook and Twitter.
ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes two Labor Day weekend college football games; 11 college bowl games and eight college basketball events, which accounts for approximately 200 hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over a half a million attendees each year. With satellite offices in Boca Raton, Boise, Birmingham, Dallas-Fort Worth, Albuquerque, St. Petersburg and Las Vegas, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.
ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Hawai'i Bowl (Honolulu); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Orlando, Fla.) and Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)
Armed Forces Classic (U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen, PR); DIRECTV Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men's & Women's Basketball Classics Presented by Corona (New York City & Notre Dame, Ind.); Orlando Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan, PR) and State Farm Champions Classic (Indianapolis)
For more information, visit www.espnevents.com or follow on Twitter and Facebook.