The ninth annual edition of the Veterans Classic takes place in Annapolis, Maryland, on Friday with a big doubleheader airing on CBS Sports Network. The games, a college basketball staple the last decade hosted by Navy to honor veterans of all service branches, tip at 6 p.m. ET with No. 3 Houston in action vs. Saint Joseph's followed by an Ivy League vs. Patriot League showdown between Princeton and Navy in the nightcap.
Houston carries the most ambitious aspirations of the quartet of teams involved this season as one of the most complete teams on paper entering the 2022-23 season, positioning Saint Joseph's in the event's opener to aim for what would be the biggest upset of the early college hoops season. The Cougars, whose preseason No. 3 ranking marked the highest for the program since the end of the Phi Slama Jama era, are coming off a 32-win season that ended in an Elite Eight appearance. With superstar guard Marcus Sasser back in the fold and coach Kelvin Sampson leading the way, they'll be favored in almost every game this season as the clear frontrunner to win the American.
Navy looks to inch closer to .500 in the Veterans Classic in what is expected to be the most even matchup of the evening against Princeton. The Midshipmen are 3-5 since the event's inception in 2014 but hold an 8-8 record against the Tigers in games played in Annapolis the last 16 meetings. Friday's game will mark the first showdown between the two programs since the 1977-78 season, renewing what once was an annual meeting from 1946 through 1978 when Navy was an Independent. All times below Eastern.