USA TODAY Sports
Mateen Cleaves led his Home White squad to victory over Steve Smith's Away Green team in an alumni exhibition Friday, kicking off a weekend of basketball commemorating a far more important game played nearly 50 years ago.
Former Michigan State greats and 6,500 fans descended on Jenison Field House Friday night for an alumni exhibition, kicking off the 50th anniversary commemoration of the historic 1963 NCAA Tournament matchup between Loyola of Chicago and Mississippi State.
Nearly 12 years after leading Michigan State to the 2000 national championship, Mateen Cleaves led his Home White team to a 125-118 victory over Steve Smith's Away Green squad. Ray Weathers scored a game-high 20 points for the Green team, while David Thomas led the White jerseys with 14 points.
The game shook the dust off Jenison Field House, which last hosted an official game in 1989, just in time for the Spartans' matchup Saturday night with Tuskegee. The game will commemorate the 1963 regional semifinal showdown, in which Mississippi State's players went against the school's policy prohibiting them from playing racially-integrated opponents and faced off against Loyola of Chicago, which featured four black starters.
Michigan State's women's basketball team will wrap up the festivities Sunday night against IPFW.