Florida Gators: Florida Gators basketball

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida’s 2012-2013 basketball schedule was finished. And it was a good one, too.

The Gators were playing home games against Wisconsin, Marquette and Central Florida and road games at Arizona, Yale and Florida State. There also were neutral-site games against Kansas State and a TBD opponent in the Orange Bowl Classic.

[+] EnlargeNorth Carolina-Michigan on Carrier
Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesMichigan State and North Carolina ushered in the 2011-12 season aboard the USS Carl Vinson last Nov. 11.
Most schools around the country were still trying to fill dates in mid-May, so it’s understandable why Mike Hill, UF’s senior associate athletics director for external affairs and the person responsible for basketball scheduling, was feeling pretty good.

Then Alan Verlander called. The director of sports and entertainment for the city of Jacksonville, Fla., said he was trying to put together a basketball game on an aircraft carrier and would the Gators be interested?

So much for the schedule being done.

"I told [UF coach] Billy [Donovan], 'If there’s an aircraft carrier parked in Jacksonville with a basketball game being played there I don’t know how Florida can’t be involved,' " Hill said. "He said, 'I agree.'

"We were really excited to already have our schedule done by the time we did. Most schools are still scrambling for games. We were already working on next year’s schedule and I got the call. It threw everything into chaos."

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