Friday's UNC Links

Today's Carolina links from around the ‘net.......

Carolina Basketball

In front of a Pacific sunset and with waves breaking nearby, North Carolina will start its basketball season and drive for a sixth national championship. North Carolina will play Michigan State at 7 p.m. EST today (ESPN Ch. 33) near San Diego on the USS Carl Vinson, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Coach Roy Williams of UNC was an assistant to Dean Smith in a game played at Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Navy base in Hawaii. When he coached at Kansas, Williams had one game in North Dakota that was blasted by a blizzard, requiring an 18-hour bus ride home. But he and his players have never experienced anything like what they'll experience today.
USS Carl Vinson is a go for North Carolina - Michigan State game
The Winston-Salem Journal

Ever since it was announced that North Carolina would open its season on an aircraft carrier, the team has said that the event was about honoring the troops on Veterans Day. But today's Carrier Classic against Michigan State, which will tip off at 7 p.m. Eastern (ESPN) on the USS Carl Vinson, will also serve as the first test for a team that is No. 1 in both the AP and coaches polls. While it would be easy to be distracted by the spectacle, preseason all-America forward Harrison Barnes thinks it will actually help the Tar Heels' performance.
Anchors Aweigh! Tar Heels take on MSU on carrier flight deck tonight
The Durham Herald-Sun

North Carolina sophomore point guard Kendall Marshall took his first shot from the deck of the USS Carl Vinson on Thursday, saw nothing but blue sky in the background, and had one reaction: "Wow." The aircraft carrier, which is based outside San Diego, usually holds up to 75 combat planes on its flight deck. But Friday it will be hosting UNC and Michigan State (7 p.m., ESPN), along with President Obama and 7,000 other spectators in the first-ever basketball game to take place on an aircraft carrier.
Carrier Classic adds historic chapter to UNC's storied program
The Durham Herald-Sun

WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE? The flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson is 1,094 feet long - that's nearly a dozen basketball courts - with a surface area of 4.5 acres. The ship's island, which includes the bridge and command center, looms over a court surrounded by approximately 7,000 green seats.
3 questions for tonight's Carrier Classic: No. 1 North Carolina vs. Michigan State
The Fayetteville Observer

North Carolina's men's basketball team might end up with a special season if the Tar Heels uphold their No. 1 ranking. From their perspective, the start of the season is guaranteed to be memorable and special. North Carolina meets Michigan State today in the first college basketball game played on the deck of an aircraft carrier. The Veterans Day game will be aired on national television, with a military theme expected throughout.
Tar Heels hope to stay on board in aircraft carrier game
The Burlington Times-News

It seems a preposterous scenario, little 'ol UNCA knocking off a team loaded with NBA-caliber talent, a squad virtually every prognosticator has tabbed as the favorite to cut down the nets in New Orleans at the Final Four. But we all dare to dream — Asheville school officials even held a meeting recently to discuss issues like crowd control and security if such an event occurred. That's both incredibly thorough and extremely optimistic.
What if UNC Asheville knocked off top-ranked Tar Heels?
The Asheville Citizen-Times

The courts are in. The stands are up. Late Thursday afternoon, basketball players from Michigan State and the University of North Carolina were warming up on the pricey real estate usually claimed by fighter jets. The Carrier Classic is expected to tip off Friday on the flight deck of the Navy aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, despite the forecast of rain that once threatened to send it below decks. Whether pre-storm winds will lead to air balls is anyone's guess.
Carrier Carl Vinson, sailors ready for basketball
The San Diego Union-Tribune

A few of North Carolina's basketball players were walking back from the dining hall last spring when they noticed some students playing pickup ball outside and decided, what the heck, to join them. It morphed into regular games, and soon the outdoor courts at dormitories across the Chapel Hill campus -- Hinton James, Cobb, Morrison, Granville – were lined with students wanting a shot at their heroes, a bunch of 5-foot-10 guys with backwards caps against Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall, guys who eat at McDonald's vs. McDonald's all-Americans.
Carrier Classic decision: Play outside
The San Diego Union-Tribune

It was scary at first for Kendall Marshall, because the pain in his back was something he had never felt before. Marshall injured his back on Nov. 3 and gave his teammates a scare. But North Carolina's starting point guard said he now feels 100 percent, just in time for the Tar Heels' game Friday against Michigan State on the U.S.S. Carl Vinson in San Diego, Calif.
Marshall ready for UNC season opener
The Daily Tar Heel

When there isn't a basketball court on her runway, Alexis Labroke goes to work every day in a yellow vest. "If you watched 'Top Gun,' " she said, "I'm that guy." Squatting on the flight deck, waving her arms, signaling fighter pilots and directing traffic on the USS Carl Vinson, Labroke is a petty officer and part of a crew of 5,000 that runs this floating airport.
USS Carl Vinson sailors psyched to host Spartans, Tar Heels
The Detroit Free Press

When they brought the body of Osama Bin Laden aboard the Carl Vinson in May and buried the terrorist in the North Arabian Sea, Lt. Peter Locklear was standing watch on the bridge. You might call that a front-row seat to history, but the radar-navigation officer from Pembroke is more excited about his front-row seats when North Carolina takes on Michigan State today on the aircraft carrier in San Diego.
UNC game site awash in history
The Charlotte Observer

Mark Hollis had the idea. Mike Whalen had the connections to make it happen. And the passion. "Right now people get a day off on Veterans Day, it gets mentioned a little bit," said Whalen, a former Marine who started the Morale Entertainment Foundation to give back to those who serve the country. "We want to make Veterans Day a real holiday."
All hands on deck for Spartans vs. North Carolina
The Lansing State Journal

There was a time when outdoor basketball was less of an oddity. "Tommy and I, we used to play outside," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said Thursday on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson, as he sat next to MSU coach Tom Izzo. "But these kids don't play outside." They will tonight when No. 1 UNC takes on MSU at 7 in the Carrier Classic on ESPN. And if Thursday's practices were any indications, the Tar Heels and Spartans will be just fine on the temporary court - which is surrounded by portable stands seating about 7,000 people, with video boards on both ends.
MSU men's basketball: Outdoors game a distinct challenge
The Lansing State Journal

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