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2011 Carrier Classic Photos: Scenes From A Spectacular Event

The North Carolina Tar Heels downed the Michigan State Spartans in the 2011 Carrier Classic, but the story of the evening was clearly the setting. Docked in San Diego, the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson served as the venue for Friday night's matchup, and the ship was the star of the show.

Check out a few of the photos from the flight deck below and try not to have your jaw drop. You can't.

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As darkness fell, the scenes were even more spectacular.

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Superb photos courtesy of Harry How of Getty Images.

The Carrier Classic will be back again next year, which I think we can all agree is a great thing. Friday night's scene was jaw-dropping, and I'm not sure the novelty of watching a college basketball game on an aircraft carrier will ever wear off. Just way too cool to see.

For more on this game, Tar Heels fans should visit Carolina March while Spartans fans should join The Only Colors and SB Nation Detroit. Be sure to stay tuned to our Carrier Classic StoryStream for everything else taking place around this historic game.