Tuskegee vs. Michigan State: Spartans face Golden Tigers in tribute to Game of Change

USA TODAY Sports

In what could be the final game played at Jenison Fieldhouse, the Spartans host traditionally all-black Tuskegee at the location of the Game of Change - an NCAA Midwestern Regional semifinal game where Loyola started four black players in defeating all white Mississippi State 50 years ago.

Saturday is a home game for Michigan State, but they're playing in a place they haven't played in two decades.

To commemorate the Game of Change, when Loyola of Chicago started four African-American players in defeating all-white Mississippi State in the Midwest Regional semifinals 50 years ago, the Spartans will take on Tuskegee University at Jenison Fieldhouse - a venue that hasn't seen a Spartans game since 1989.

The original idea was to play Loyola Dec. 15, but Loyola instead chose to play Mississippi State on the anniversary of the Game of Change.

Tuskegee, a traditionally all-black college in Tuskegee, Ala., is a Division II school, and was chosen to play in this game due to the school's connection to the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of all-black fighter pilots in World War II.

Upon learning more of Tuskegee's connection to Detroit (a museum dedicated to the airmen is in Detroit and former Detroit mayor Coleman Young is an alumnus), Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis offered the spot to Tuskegee.

Michigan State played Loyola Dec. 8, taking a 73-61 victory.

The game on the floor will very likely be a Spartans win, but the symbolism provided in what will also likely serve as the last game ever played at Jenison makes it a special occasion.

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