Midway Game Moved to Sunday

2011 Carrier Classic in San Diego (US PRESSWIRE)

When a college basketball game is shifted to an outdoor court, weather becomes a concern. That explains why a forecast has forced the "Battle On The Midway," between No. 9 Syracuse and No. 20 San Diego State, to be rescheduled from Friday night to Sunday afternoon.

And the game is being played in San Diego – not in Syracuse. How's that for a meteorological mystery?

Organizers made the decision Tuesday, reacting to a forecast that called for a 75 percent chance of rain and winds as high as 16 mph at the scheduled 5 p.m. (8 p.m. Eastern) tipoff on Friday. The game will be played on the flight deck of the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Midway.

According to the Associated Press, Sunday's forecast calls for clear skies, a high of 67 degrees, wind gusts to 8 mph and zero chance of rain. The new tipoff is set for 1 p.m. Sunday (4 p.m. Eastern).

Officials from the game said moving the game to Sunday was preferable to playing Friday night at a San Diego-area sports arena.

"The purpose of the game is to play it on the Midway," San Diego State coach Steve Fisher told the AP. "So that's what we want to almost guarantee that we can have happen. So the only reason we're moving it from Friday to Sunday is to guarantee the fact that we'll play it on the Midway."

The North County Times in San Diego reported the storm was to arrive late Thursday night and pass by noon Saturday. San Diego State had been scheduled to play San Diego Christian on Sunday but that game was rescheduled to Tuesday.

Syracuse had planned to arrive Wednesday but now will fly into San Diego on Friday.

"We remain committed to this once-in-a-lifetime experience for our student-athletes and our fans," Syracuse director of athletics Dr. Daryl Gross said in a statement. "We are very sorry for the inconvenience this change may have caused our fans. The weather predictions have forced the postponement."

The North County Times also reported that crews began installing the hardwood court on the flight deck of the Midway Tuesday morning and the task was halfway complete by early afternoon.

It began raining less than an hour after last year's Carrier Classic between North Carolina and Michigan State on the USS Carl Vinson on San Diego Bay, the first college basketball game on active carrier.

This year three carriers are hosting games. The second Carrier Classic is scheduled for Friday night in Charleston, S.C., between No. 4 Ohio State and Marquette on the USS Yorktown, which like the Midway, is now a museum. It will be preceded by a women's game between No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 19 Ohio State.

The Navy-Marine Corps Classic between Georgetown and No. 10 Florida is scheduled for Friday night in Jacksonville, Fla., on the deck of the USS Bataan, an amphibious assault ship that's being moved from its homeport of Norfolk, Va., to Naval Station Mayport for the game.

In addition, Connecticut and No. 14 Michigan State meet Friday night in the Armed Forces Classic at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Both teams boarded flights for Germany on Tuesday.

The game on the Midway will be televised by Fox Sports San Diego and carried on Fox Sports Regional networks.

A report from The Associated Press was included in this story.

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