Michigan State, UConn to Open Season on Germany’s Ramstein Air Base

By 06.26.12

MSU hosted the world’s largest outdoor hockey game in 2001 and the world’s largest basketball game in 2005. They participated in last year’s Veterans Day game on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson.

He’s even trying to play against USC at a Greek amphitheater.

In short, he’s a mad scientist who knows how to get attention.

His lastest scheme?

A basketball game between the Spartans and UConn on Ramstein Air Base in Germany, slated to take place on November 9.

Ramstein Air Base in Germany, the home of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and also a North Atlantic Treaty Organization installation, is the proposed location, pending formal approval by the U.S. Department of Defense, which negotiated the game with ESPN programming.

The game would tip late at the base, sometime after 10 p.m. local in Germany, for an early-evening East Coast start time. It would be televised on ESPN.

“I asked my players if they wanted to do it and they were jacked,'' said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. “Has a college team ever played a regular-season game in Europe? I don't think so. It will be cool. We're going to a base in another country. That's pretty cool.''

UConn coach Jim Calhoun said he couldn't think of a more appropriate place to play a game with the last official combat troops withdrawing from Iraq in December and the wind down of troops in Afghanistan beginning.

“With so many of our with [servicemen and women] coming from the war front, it's appropriate for our kids to honor them,'' said Calhoun. “This is a great thing for us and for the kids, especially on Veteran's Day.''

UConn was originally going to play in the sequel to the UNC-Michigan State Carl Vinson game against Arizona before that game fell through. Three other games that will be either stationed on ships or at a Naval dock have been spawned for Nov. 9 as well in Florida-Georgetown in Jacksonville; Ohio State-Marquette in Charleston, S.C.; and Syracuse-San Diego State in San Diego.

The game would take place in front of 2,500-3,000 enlisted men and women.

Awesome, awesome news. 

TAGSGermanyMichigan StateTom IzzoUCONN

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