Navy will host the third installment of the Veterans Classic on November 11, 2016 in Annapolis after a CBS Sports announcement last week. This tournament has given the Mids great exposure on the opening weekend of the college basketball season and 2016 is set to be no different with Ed DeChellis’ squad taking on perennial Big Ten power Ohio State.
This will be a very interesting test for the Mids as Ohio State looks primed to make a run in 2016-17. The Buckeyes return their top five leading scorers from their Postseason NIT run. This formula of taking a number of underclassmen to the NIT before breaking out and making the NCAA Tournament is a tried and tested one and the Buckeyes will look to follow the likes of Wichita State who used that postseason play as fuel for a run in the Big Dance.
The Navy vs. Ohio State game will be the second on that Friday night as it tips at 9 P.M. ET. The other game on the schedule is maybe even more intriguing as it sees Vanderbilt of the SEC take on Marquette of the Big East. Vandy made the play in round of the NCAA Tournament in 2015 and will look to do even better with Bryce Drew making his head coaching debut at the school following his move from Valpo. Marquette on the other hand returns most key components from a team that won 20 games last year and that is looking for the “third season effect” under head coach Steve Wojciechowski.
This is an outstanding event for Navy to hold so early in the season. It has a big tournament feel without actually being a tournament and allows the Navy team to face a school they would normally have no chance of hosting. For this reason it is also an outstanding recruiting tool as Navy prospects get to see the school in a showcase event in front of a packed crowd and a big time college basketball atmosphere.