Condensation was the spoiler Friday night, stopping two aircraft carrier games before their completion, having effectively halted Ohio State-Marquette before it could get started and forcing a halftime cancellation of Georgetown-Florida.
Third time’s the charm, right?
Syracuse and San Diego State hope the West Coast is friendlier than the East when they tip off at 4 p.m. ET aboard the USS Midway off the coast of California.
This Battle of the Midway has already seen a delay, postponed from Friday until Sunday due to rainy conditions in the area. Weather forecasts look good for today, though, with sunny skies expected and temperatures in the mid-60s.
Check out below for NBCSports.com’s preview:
Players to Watch:
Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State
For San Diego State, everything is centered around the junior Franklin, who is coming off a season in which he averaged 17.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. In a match-up of two ranked teams, expect Franklin to show up big.
Chatter about MCW has been happening almost since last season ended and Dion Waiters, Kris Joseph, Fab Melo, and Scoop Jardine left the program. Carter-Williams is expected by many to be a breakout performer this season and on national TV would be a good time to start.
Keys to the Game:
– San Diego State is smaller than Syracuse, with the Orange featuring Rakeem Christmas, Baye Keita, and DaJuan Coleman on the front line. That likely means that Syracuse will have the advantage on the glass, so the Aztecs can’t waste possessions Sunday afternoon.
-Wind could be a big factor aboard the USS Midway, which also favors the Orange. Jim Boeheim’s zone defense will try to keep San Diego State on the perimeter, with wind making three-point shooting more difficult. Michigan State lost to North Carolina aboard the USS Carl Vinson last season after shooting 2-of-20 from three-point range.
– San Diego State needs to exploit its advantage in the backcourt, led by Franklin and senior Chase Tapley. Syracuse guard Brandon Triche, who is expected to step into a larger role this season, could have his hands full.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_