EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State plans this basketball season to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking 1963 NCAA regional game between Loyola and Mississippi State, the school announced Tuesday.
In 1963, Loyola defeated Mississippi State, and the game helped change the history of race in sports. The all-white Mississippi State team, which in earlier years had been forced to decline NCAA invitations rather than play a team with black players, slipped out of state to compete in the game in East Lansing.
The Spartans will play at Jenison Field House in East Lansing for the first time since 1989 to mark the anniversary. The weekend of events is being called “Jenison Jubilee.” Michigan State, which usually plays at Breslin Center, will host Tuskegee on Dec. 15 and a Dec. 14 reunion game featuring former Spartans is planned.
“As educators on a university campus, we have an obligation to recognize the importance of these events, and teach our younger generations about those that laid the foundation and struggled to shape what our current players and students now enjoy,” Michigan State men’s coach Tom Izzo said in a statement.
Motown legends The Commodores will provide a pre-game concert Dec. 15.
Capacity for the game is expected to be around 5,000, based on the configuration of the bleachers. The court, baskets and scorer’s table all will be brought over from Breslin Center, the school said. The Michigan State women’s team will play IPFW at Jenison on Dec. 16 as part of the events.
Loyola and Mississippi State are scheduled to play in Chicago on Dec. 15, while Michigan State will host Loyola on Dec. 8 at Breslin Center. On the day of the Loyola-Michigan State game, officials plan to unveil a commemorative marker outside Jenison recognizing the 1963 game.
Jenison was the home for Michigan State men’s basketball for 50 seasons starting in 1940. The women’s team played there full-time from 1984-89.
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