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“It’s a bittersweet moment for me,” the 32-year-old said after taking a photo of Smith. “It shows they appreciate us. We haven’t been forgotten. It means a lot.”

The teams plucked top alums to be the honorary captains: Magic Johnson for Michigan State and James Worthy of North Carolina.

A popular spot for taking pictures was along one end line toward the carrier’s island, which loomed just 50 feet behind the other end line.

In the days before the game, there was concern that it might rain Friday evening.

Although the court was surrounded by stadium-style seating, wind was a concern.

Carter said that if he were playing in the game, he’d have a plan for countering the wind.

`’This is great,” Carter said. `’I think I’d have to be attacking the rim. I might try one jumper and see how it went but otherwise I’d be going right to the rim a lot.”

Carter and Hansbrough were able to attend because of the NBA lockout.

On Thursday, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said he had `’the unique deal of playing the No. 1 team in the country, but I’m at a place with the No. 1 team in the world, our military. I get a double dose.”


Associated Press Writer Julie Watson contributed to this report.