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updated: 7/11/2013 8:04 PM

1963 Loyola championship team goes to White House

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  • President Barack Obama meets with members of Loyola University's 1963 NCAA championship team on Thursday in the Oval Office.

      President Barack Obama meets with members of Loyola University's 1963 NCAA championship team on Thursday in the Oval Office.
    Pete Souza/White House

 
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Loyola University's 1963 national championship basketball team is in Washington to meet with President Barack Obama.

The White House said Obama was to meet with the team in the Oval Office Thursday afternoon to mark the 50th anniversary of the Chicago team's win, as well as the role the played breaking racial barriers.

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The Ramblers won the 1963 NCAA tournament in an overtime upset, rallying from a 15-point deficit at the half to defeat two-time defending champion Cincinnati. Four of the five starters were black, and Loyola was the first team to start four black players.

In the semifinals, Loyola faced Mississippi State, which stole away to play the game because they'd been previously barred from playing integrated teams in the postseason.

Players were honored Wednesday by Illinois' congressional delegation.

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