Veterans Classic field announced

Webster Schroeder alum Emmitt Holt (15) sat out last season due to an abdominal injury. The Providence Friars have not yet cleared Holt for basketball activities. As a junior he averaged 12.5 points and 5.3 rebounds.(Photo: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Courtesy of NavySports.com

ANNAPOLIS, Md. –– Maryland, Providence and Wichita State will join host Navy in the 2018 Veterans Classic on CBS Sports Network, an annual men’s college basketball showcase that brings together teams from across the country in celebration of Veterans Day.

The fifth annual Veterans Classic will tip off on Friday, Nov. 9, at Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Md. Providence and Wichita State begin the action at 6 p.m. ET followed by Navy taking on Maryland at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The Veterans Classic, held annually around Veterans Day, honors our nation’s veterans and showcases the U.S. Naval Academy.  Each of the visiting teams immerse themselves in the inner workings of the U.S. Naval Academy through guided tours held on the day before the games. CBS Sports Network will again televise a 30-minute all-access show that provides a look from these experiences on HOOPS CONFIDENTIAL: VETERANS CLASSIC.

In conjunction with the announcement of the 2018 field, Navy and CBS Sports announced the Veterans Classic will continue to air on CBS Sports Network through 2021.

CBS Sports Network, the 24-hour home of CBS Sports, is widely available through all major cable, satellite and telco distributors as well as via OTT streaming service providers YouTube TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV and Hulu. Additionally, a live CBS Sports Network stream is available through CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App by authenticating with select providers. For more information, including a full programming schedule, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com. 

Tickets for the doubleheader are now on sale through the Navy Ticket Office at either 1-800-US4-NAVY, by clicking on the TICKETS tab in the masthead of NavySports.com or by clicking HERE.  Reserved tickets for the doubleheader in the lower level of Alumni Hall are $75 and upper level general admission seats can be purchased for $50.  

Navy and Maryland will square off for the first time since the Len Bias-led Terps defeated David Robinson and the Mids, 64-59, in the second round of the 1985 NCAA Tournament in Dayton, Ohio.  The upcoming game will also mark the first contest in the series to be played in Annapolis in 50 seasons (Feb. 12, 1969).  Maryland holds a 30-28 edge in the series between the two state schools.  

Navy enters the year after compiling a 20-12 overall record during the 2017-18 season.  That was Navy’s highest win total since the 2000 team won 23 games.  The Mids placed third in the Patriot League last year to notch their highest regular season placement since also finishing in third place in 2009.

“The Veterans Classic is truly one of the best early season events in the country,” said Navy head coach Ed Dechellis, who is embarking on his eighth year on The Yard.  “We have once again been able to assemble an outstanding field of teams in Maryland, Providence and Wichita State, all of which play at the highest level of competition.  It is also great to use this opportunity to again pay tribute to our nation’s veterans through the Veterans Classic!”

Maryland concluded last season with a 19-13 overall record and an 8-10 mark in Big Ten play (eighth place).  The Terps had posted a 24-9 record the previous year and advanced to the 2017 NCAA Tournament for the third time in as many years.

The Terrapins join Michigan State (2014) and Ohio State (2016) as Big Ten teams to participate in the Veterans Classic.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to participate in the 2018 Veterans Classic,” said eighth-year Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon.  “This opportunity for our student-athletes to engage and visit with the midshipmen will be an invaluable experience.  We are looking forward to expressing our sincere appreciation to the men and women of the United States Naval Academy for their service and all that they do to keep our country safe.  Our University and men’s basketball program is excited to face Navy in a regular season game in Annapolis.”

Providence and Wichita State will be meeting for the first time since the teams played in back-to-back seasons in the fall of 2004 and ’05.  The Shockers won both ends of the brief home-and-home meetings.

Providence participated in the 2018 NCAA Tournament and concluded the year with an overall record of 21-14.  The Friars also tied for third place in the Big East Conference with a record of 10-8 in 2018.  Last year marked the fifth year in a row in which Providence both earned a berth into the NCAA Tournament and won at least 20 games on the campaign.

Providence is the second Big East program to be included in the Veterans Classic field (Marquette, 2016).

“We are excited and honored to be playing in the Veterans Classic,” said eighth-year Providence College head coach Ed Cooley.  “We are looking forward to bringing our student-athletes to the Naval Academy and experiencing all the tradition and history of this special place.” 

Wichita State joined Providence in the 68-team field of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.  The Shockers finished the season with a 25-8 record and tied for second place during the program’s inaugural year in the American Athletic Conference with a 14-4 record.  Wichita State has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last seven years, a span that includes a 2013 appearance in the Final Four.

Wichita State is the third AAC school to participate in the Veterans Classic.  Temple took part in the 2015 event and Memphis was in the event’s 2017 field.

“Competing in the Veterans Classic is both an honor and an opportunity,” said Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall, who is entering his 13th season at the school.  “Our guys are looking forward to the challenge of facing a high-caliber opponent in Providence while spending time with some high-caliber people at the U.S. Naval Academy, an institution world-famous for its character and leadership development.” 

At least one nationally ranked team has been part of the field in three of the previous four editions of the Veterans Classic.  Additionally, seven of the 12 visiting teams who have participated in the Veterans Classic have gone on to secure berths into that season’s NCAA Tournament.  This includes North Carolina in 2015 when the Tar Heels began the season as the No. 1 ranked team in the country and ended it with an appearance in the NCAA Tournament’s championship game.

Veterans Classic Visiting Team Conference Representation

American Athletic Conference (3) – Memphis (2017), Temple (2015), Wichita State (2018)

Atlantic Coast Conference (2) – North Carolina (2015), Pittsburgh (2017)

Atlantic 10 Conference (1) – VCU (2014)

Big East Conference (2) – Marquette (2016), Providence (2018)

Big Ten Conference (3) – Maryland (2018), Michigan State (2014), Ohio State (2016)

Southeastern Conference (4) – Alabama (2017), Florida (2015), Tennessee (2014), Vanderbilt (2016)

Past Veterans Classic Results

2014: No. 15 VCU 85, Tennessee 69; No. 18 Michigan State 64, Navy 59

2015: No. 1 North Carolina 91, Temple 67; Florida 59, Navy 41

2016: Marquette 95, Vanderbilt 71; Ohio State 78, Navy 68

2017: No. 25 Alabama 82, Memphis 70; Navy 71, Pittsburgh 62 

Past Veterans Classic Visiting Team Season Capsules

2014 – Michigan State – 27-12, NCAA Tournament (semifinalist); Tennessee – 16-16; VCU – 26-10, NCAA Tournament (first round)

2015 – Florida – 21-15, NIT (quarterfinalist); North Carolina – 33-7, NCAA Tournament (finalist); Temple – 21-12, NCAA Tournament (first round)

2016 – Marquette – 19-13, NCAA Tournament (first round); Ohio State – 17-15; Vanderbilt – 19-16, NCAA Tournament (first round)

2017 – Alabama – 20-16, NCAA Tournament (second round); Memphis – 21-13; Pittsburgh – 8-24

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