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Reduced chance of rain means Carrier Classic's on top deck Friday

The Carrier Classic aboard the USS Carl Vinson is just one day away. Friday's historic game will be played on the first ever basketball venue built on an aircraft carrier.

CORONADO (CNS) - A middle-of-the-night decision on whether Friday's Quicken Loans Carrier Classic basketball game will be held on the USS Carl Vinson's flight or hangar decks will no longer be necessary, thanks to updated weather forecasts showing a reduced chance of rain.

"Right now, everything is all go for up here on the flight deck," organizer Bob Mazza said.

The first-of-its-kind contest pits North Carolina University against Michigan State University -- two traditional college-basketball powerhouses -- in a game set to tip off just after 4 p.m. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are scheduled to attend.

Earlier this week, with a strong Pacific storm in the forecast for San Diego, organizers scheduled a meeting for 3 a.m. Friday to determine whether the game could be played outdoors. An alternate playing court was constructed on the hangar deck, if necessary.

But the National Weather Service was now forecasting that most of the rain will come Saturday and should be lighter than first expected.

The main playing area on the flight deck is "magnificent," Mazza said.

Grandstands have been constructed to hold about 7,000 military members who will watch the game. There are no tickets for the public.

The event will also include performances by the musical acts Five for Fighting, Billy Currington and B. Taylor.

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