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The Dagger

Condensation spoils opener for No. 4 Ohio State and Marquette

The Dagger

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Mother Nature was bound to cause problems sooner or later in one of numerous games being played on the decks of aircraft carriers these days.

Condensation on the court initially delayed and ultimately canceled the season opener tonight in the Carrier Classic between Marquette and No. 4 Ohio State on the USS Yorktown.

Both teams are scheduled to play other opponents Sunday and the game is not likely to be rescheduled this season. Having a game wiped off the schedule because of weather problems was always a possibility but big television ratings are enough to entice programs to take that chance.

"I don't know how we can reschedule it within this current calendar," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said when interviewed on ESPN.

Williams and many of his players were on their knees at one point helping to wipe moisture off the court while most of the Ohio State players sat and watched and coach Thad Matta was doing a television interview.

But players, coaches and dozens of workers couldn't do much to prevent condensation from continually building up, making it unsafe for play.

"In the best interest of the players we're not going to play the game," Matta said.

Players tested the court at times. Ohio State players even had an impromptu dunk contest, but they didn't feel comfortable going full speed.

"They were giving us feedback saying, 'It's not good,' Matta said. "You don't want to play a game when guys are not mentally into it. We went on what they had to say a little bit. Never prepared for this one."

Playing outdoors on naval ships was a novel idea a year ago when North Carolina and Michigan State played on the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego, but condensation and wind were issues in that game as well.

There were no weather issues earlier in the day when the Notre Dame women beat Ohio State 57-51 in the season opener for both teams. It was the first women's game played on an aircraft carrier.

Marquette and Ohio State players lingered on the court after the game had been canceled mingling with fans and signing autographs.

Kyle Ringo covers Colorado for the Daily Camera Newspaper in Boulder. Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleRingo

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