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MSU to open basketball season in Germany at air force base

Last year Michigan State opened its basketball season against North Carolina on an aircraft carrier near San Diego, but that even might be trumped by the plans for the 2012-13 season — overseas plans.MSU opened last season in the Carrier Classic, and this season will open in Germany.

The Spartans will open this season on Nov. 9 against Connecticut at Ramstein AirBase in Germany, according to the MSU.

“This is another amazing opportunity for Spartan basketball and Michigan State University,” coach Tom Izzo said. “I’m thankful that ESPN reached out to us to be a part of this great event. Being a part in the first college basketball game to be played on a military base overseas is truly an honor.”

ESPN will televise the game and reported that the game will be played “after 10 p.m.” Germany time, which is six hours ahead of Michigan.

“Once again, we are excited about participating in an event that pays tribute and respect to the men and women that serve in our nation’s armed forces,” athletic director Mark Hollis said. “With that focus in mind, all other challenges and obstacles in participating in an event of this significance are secondary. Pending final approval by the Department of Defense and with the collaboration of ESPN, we look forward to participating in an NCAA men’s basketball regular-season game against Connecticut at Ramstein AirBase in Germany on November 9, 2012. …

“With the game played before an audience of 2,500 to 3,000 enlisted men and women at Ramstein Air Base, ESPN broadcasting the game to troops and a viewing audience across the globe is of tremendous value.  We applaud ESPN for their commitment to programming aimed at providing our veterans with the respect they deserve.  Once again, Michigan State is honored to part of that programming and we look forward to sharing America’s pride with those stationed at Ramstein in November.”