On Thursday afternoon, a press release was sent out notifying the media that the Armed Forces Classic will be changing venues.
The location change — the event was moved from a gym in Pearl Harbor to the Stan Sheriff Center on the University of Hawai’i’s campus — isn’t much of an issue unless you’re one of the fans lucky enough to live on the islands or to be able to afford a trip to Hawai’i to watch a basketball game in paradise.
But it was a reminder that, on the opening night of college basketball season, we get a double-header featuring Kansas squaring off with Indiana in the nightcap with Michigan State taking on Arizona in the opener.
I had totally forgotten about that, which is a shame because it’s as good of a double-header as you’ll see in a season-opener. Kansas is a preseason top three team, Michigan State and Arizona will be in or around everyone’s top ten and Indiana will likely slot somewhere in the top 20.
But it was also a reminder of the tiring travel schedule some of these teams will play.
Kansas, four days after playing in this event, will be in New York City for the Champions Classic, where they will square off with Duke. Michigan State will make the same trip that Kansas does, taking on Kentucky in the same event, but there schedule is even more intense — less than a week after returning home from NYC they pack their bags against to head to the Bahamas over Thanksgiving, where they’ll make a run at a title in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
That’s a lot of hours on a plane.
But it also means a lot of time in some pretty incredible places.
So … hey Sparty, are you guys up for having a reporter embed all-access with the program for a month?