On December 15th Mississippi State will visit Loyola-Chicago in the schools’ first meeting since March 15, 1963.
On that day the Bulldogs, who at the time were not allowed to play teams with black players, took on the eventual national champion Ramblers at Jenison Field House on the Michigan State campus in an NCAA tournament game after sneaking out of Starkville.
Current Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis had the idea of those two teams playing at Jenison this season, but instead the Bulldogs and Ramblers will play a home-and-home series.
The next best thing for Michigan State in their desire to honor the occasion: playing a game on December 15 at Jenison.
That’s a possibility with Hollis asking for a study on the feasibility of using Jenison to host a game, and apparently the Field House would be able to hold around 5,000 spectators according to the athletic director.
“We’re taking a run at it, and I believe there will be a game on the 15th of December,” Hollis said to George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press.
“Our challenge at one point was who … we think we’re getting closer on that.
“Who and what. What’s the event going to look like? How do you ticket it? Who has access to tickets? And those are the pieces we’re working through right now.”
Hollis also noted that he would like to unveil a plaque commemorating the Mississippi State/Loyola-Chicago game and its importance at Jenison.
It will be interesting to see what team the Spartans can line up for this game should it happen, but one good choice could have been UTEP.
Known as Texas Western at the time, the Miners’ run to the national title in 1966 was a watershed moment in the history of college basketball.
But with UTEP’s 2012-13 schedule being finalized that’s not going to happen unfortunately.
Photo credit: Dale G. Young/Detroit News