Mississippi State and Loyola are in talks to honor historic 1963 NCAA game (seen above) where Loyola defeated MSU in a game that had major civil rights implications in college basketball.
June 13, 2012 2:20:48 PM
STARKVILLE - Mississippi State University and the University of Loyola at Chicago are in discussions to play a 50th anniversary game of the historic 1963 NCAA second-round game.
MSU officials have confirmed to The Dispatch the two schools are in discussions for a home-and-home series that will involve the Bulldogs going to Loyola's campus this coming season and the Ramblers making an appearance in Humphrey Coliseum in 2013.
No contract between Loyola and MSU has been signed, but the two schools are expected to agree to a two-year contract in the near future soon.
On March 15, 1963, the Ramblers and Mississippi State were to play a NCAA second-round game in East Lansing, Mich., but that game almost didn't take place. Sports programs representing Mississippi teams were not allowed to play integrated teams. However, the Bulldogs snuck out of Mississippi in the middle of the night, defying the Mississippi governor and a court injunction, to go to East Lansing, Mich., and play Loyola.
The Bulldogs had never before accepted an invitation to the tournament, however, because they might be required to play teams with black players. In 1962, Mississippi State turned down an invitation despite being 24-1 and ranked fourth in the nation.
Loyola prevailed in that historic contest with MSU 61-51, thanks to 20 points from Jerry Harkness. The Ramblers would go on to upset two-time defending national champion Cincinnati the next week and win the only NCAA Division I men's basketball title ever won by a team from the state of Illinois.
In 1963, the Bulldogs snuck out of Mississippi in the middle of the night, defying the Mississippi governor and a court injunction, to go to East Lansing, Michigan and play Loyola. "I'm happy my boys could come," Mississippi State coach Babe McCarthy said when his team arrived, "just to see a team like Loyola play."
MSU head coach Rick Ray had said in an exclusive interview with The Dispatch last month that his program was interested in doing a celebratory game to honor the significance of the 1963 game between the two schools but talks hadn't nearly gotten finalized at that point.
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