ESPN's Armed Forces Classic Returns To Ramstein Air Base in Germany
ESPN's Armed Forces Classic men's college basketball series continues tonight with Texas A&M-West Virginia from Ramstein Air Base in Germany, which served as the host site of the inaugural event in '12. Leading up to the game, ESPN's Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams took part in a number of training regimes at the military base that will be highlighted on the broadcast in 30- and 45-second vignettes. Those activities feature Greenberg and Williams on a rappel tower, parachute simulator, vehicle rollover training and military-working dog experiences. There will also be behind-the-scenes access to life on the base as well as interviews with servicemen and women. ESPN's Karl Ravech will also be on the call and joined the crew in Germany after wrapping up his duties related to the World Series. ESPN producer Eric Mosley said, "It's a balance of showcasing what this place is, and what the Air Force does here at this base, and also remembering that it is the first college basketball game of the year." The bleachers being used have been moved in a few feet on each side from where they were in '12 to make the venue feel more intimate. The base fits slightly more than 3,100 seats, and most of those will be filled by servicemen and women. The game tips at 6:00pm ET (midnight locally).
PRIMETIME PLAYERS: Mosley noted Tuesday's Champions Classic will be heavily promoted during Friday's telecast. The Champions Classic features four of the top five teams in the preseason AP poll -- No. 1 Duke plays No. 2. Michigan State in the opening game, while No. 4 Kansas faces off against No. 5 Kentucky in the nightcap. ESPN's start-of-the-season coverage will be a bit different from years prior, as the net is not airing its 24-hour college hoops marathon.