We knew the 2016-17 Ohio State Buckeyes would be opening in Annapolis, Maryland next season. Now we know their opponent.
As one of four participants in the third ever Veterans Classic, the Buckeyes will take on the Naval Academy's basketball team while Vanderbilt and Marquette will face off in the four-team event's other contest. The event is set for Friday, Nov. 11, 2016.
"Ohio State basketball is honored to participate in the 2016 Veterans Classic," OSU coach Thad Matta said in a statement. "The opportunity for our team to interact with and compete against Navy will be a meaningful experience for everyone in our program."
The game is somewhat high risk for the Buckeyes. Navy, helmed by former Penn State coach Ed DeChellis, is almost certain to be a sub-200 RPI team. A road loss to a team of that standing could leave a pretty resounding black eye on Thad Matta's Bucks' 2017 NCAA Tournament. On the other hand, if the Buckeyes can't get past a team of Navy's caliber, the NCAA tourney is likely the least of their problems.
Bad scheduling arithmetic aside, the event represents a great honor and opportunity for the basketball team to visit the Naval Academy and in part, pay tribute to the men and women who defend their country. OSU's players wouldn't necessarily have such an opportunity otherwise.
"We have the utmost respect for those who protect our country and for our guys to briefly experience what it's like to be in service to our nation is invaluable," Matta added.
The Buckeyes' participation also represents a convenient trip offering for Ohio State fans/alums. The OSU football team play an hour and a half west in College Park against Maryland the day after.
This isn't the first such game the Buckeyes have participated in under Thad Matta. In 2012, OSU was set to take on Marquette in the Carrier Classic on an actual aircraft carrier before excessive condensation pregame rendered the playing surface unsafe and resulted in the game being cancelled.
OSU and Navy's game will air at 9 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.