The all-white Mississippi State University team plays Loyola University of Chicago (with four black starters) in the NCAA basketball tournament. Mississippi State's president and basketball coach had arranged for the team to secretly travel to East Lansing, Michigan, defying an unwritten rule about Mississippi teams playing against integrated teams and a court injunction barring the team from leaving the state. Loyola wins, 61-51, en route to the national championship.
From the March 25 edition of Sports Illustrated:
Literally out of hiding to play Loyola the night before had come Mississippi State, the team that saddened the hearts of segregationists everywhere by agreeing -- eagerly -- to participate in a tournament open to Negroes. On the eve of his team's departure from Starkville, Coach Babe McCarthy got word that a sheriff was out with a court order that could keep the team in Mississippi. Like Little Eva skipping across the ice ahead of the bloodhounds, McCarthy skipped into Tennessee. University President Dr. D.W. Colvard vanished, too. Early Thursday morning an assistant coach verified that the coast was clear at the airport, hustled the team into a plane and away it flew on a modern underground railroad in reverse.
* "A Game That Should Not Be Forgotten" (ESPN.com, 2012): @
* "Game of Change" (Loyola video): @
* "Champions for Change: How the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Their Coach Defied Segregation" (Kyle Veazey, 2012): @
* "Benching Jim Crow: The Rise and Fall of the Color Line in Southern College Sports, 1890-1980" (Charles H. Martin, 2010): @