Spartans Topple Memphis, Advance to Round of Sixteen

Billy Stacy

Spartans Topple Memphis, Advance to Round of Sixteen

CREATED Mar. 25, 2013

 The Palace felt just like home for Tom Izzo and the Spartans during the first weekend of tournament play. After knocking off Valparaiso in the second round on Thursday, Michigan State took to the Palace court once more on Saturday to square off against the C-USA champion Memphis Tigers. A 3/6 matchup that had many Spartan fans worried turned out to be a 22-point drubbing, with the Green and White winning handily by a score of 70-48.

Up only 3 at halftime, it looked like the Spartans could be in for a dogfight if they hoped to advance in the NCAA Tournament. After a quick start in the second half, Michigan State quickly turned that 3-point lead into a 10-point lead and never looked back, shooting nearly 60% from the floor in the final 20 minutes. The Spartans outscored the Tigers 38-19 in the second half alone, closing out the game on a 12-2 run.

 Junior guard Keith Appling was injured in the win, leaving the game midway through the second half. Appling is expected to return to play in the next rounds for MSU.

  Next up for Michigan State are the Coach K led Blue Devils, the #2 seed in the Midwest region. Duke topped Creighton 66-50 in the third round to advance to the round of sixteen. With the win, Duke became the 4th team in NCAA history to record 2,000 wins. Michigan State and Duke will tip-off in Indianapolis at 9:45 EST on Friday.