SAN DIEGO - C.J. Fair and Michael Carter-Williams each scored 17 points and No. 9 Syracuse blew past No. 20 San Diego State 62-49 on the flight deck of the decommissioned USS Midway on a sunny, windy Sunday afternoon.
The Orange (1-0) effectively put it away when Fair made a jumper to make it 17-4 with 11:30 to go in the first half. He had nine points at that point.
Syracuse was just too tall and bulky for the Aztecs (0-1), who couldn't crack the Orange's 2-3 zone.
Although the "Battle on the Midway" was been between two basketball teams, the city of San Diego won before the game even started. For a city that relies as heavily on tourism as San Diego, the game provided the kind of publicity that cannot be bought.
"Here it's going to be a gorgeous 70 degrees [with] 7 knots of wind which is going to be a tiny breeze at game time," said USS Midway Museum publicity director Scott McGaugh."It's a great postcard for San Diego to be broadcast from coast to coast."
However, the weather was not entirely cooperative. The game was supposed to be played on Friday but was postponed due to the threat of rain. The extra couple of days did allow for extra preparation and there was plenty going on in the hours leading up to the game, such as sanding a trouble spot on the court, setting camera shots and practicing the national anthem, which was performed by personnel from Naval Base San Diego.
Last year's game was held on the USS Carl Vinson with President Obama in attendance.
The plan now is to make this an annual event aboard the USS Midway Museum and the tie-in with Veterans Day is a perfect fit for America's biggest military town.
"We're extremely proud of our military heritage and what better place to showcase that to the nation to tens of millions of households across the country than on Veterans Day aboard the USS Midway Museum," said McGaugh.
This year's game was special because the Aztecs are playing. But local team or not, McGaugh said the plan is to make this an annual event aboard the Midway, which something he hopes will become a signature event as a celebration of veterans and of America's Finest City.