Not wanting Michigan to have all the fun on the day, the Michigan State Spartans threw down a whoopin’ of their own in the round of 32. Like the Wolverines, the Spartans were playing a near-home game at The Palace of Auburn Hills and, like Michigan, they dusted off their opponent by more than 20 points.
The sixth seeded Memphis Tigers entered the meeting with the Spartans on the heels of a tight victory over St. Mary’s, but Michigan State would prove to be too much for them to handle. Memphis would shoot just 30% on the afternoon (29.7%, to be exact) and get out-rebounded by a 41-25 margin.
Gary Harris lead Michigan State with 23 points (including all four of the team’s three pointers), Adreian Payne recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Derrick Nix chipped in 13 points as the Spartans coasted to a 70-48 victory.
With MSU’s win on Saturday, the Big Ten improves to an impressive 8-1 for the tournament — that’s the best record of any conference that’s played more than three games. Michigan State will take on the winner of the game between (7) Creighton and (2) Duke in next week’s Sweet Sixteen.