December 15, 2012

Loyola preview

Tonight Mississippi State will celebrate one of the most historic events in college basketball history.

The Bulldogs travel to Chicago to take on Loyola at 7 p.m. on the 50th anniversary of "The Game of Change" in which MSU disobeyed a state injunction and secretly traveled out of state in order to play against an integrated Loyola team in the 1963 NCAA Tournament.

That contest was the Bulldogs first appearance in the big dance having been forced to turn down previous invitations because of the ordinance. Loyola won that contest 61-51 over the Maroons (as State was known at that time) in East Lansing, Mich., en route to the national championship.

It is the only meeting on the hardwood between the two programs. The Bulldogs are 4-4 all-time against Horizon League opponents.

Rick Ray's squad is 3-5 on the year with all three victories coming in Starkville. Mississippi State has been short-handed all season due to attrition, suspensions and injuries. The Bulldogs latest injury to Wendell Lewis leaves the team without their senior center for at least eight weeks with a fractured right patella.

MSU will dress only six scholarship players to Chicago tonight.

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