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Michigan State Advances Past Memphis 70-48

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Branden Dawson #22 of the Michigan State Spartans drives for a shot attempt in the first half against D.J. Stephens #30 of the Memphis Tigers. (Credit: Gregory Shamus, Getty)

Branden Dawson #22 of the Michigan State Spartans drives for a shot attempt in the first half against D.J. Stephens #30 of the Memphis Tigers. (Credit: Gregory Shamus, Getty)

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Gary Harris scored 16 of his career-high 23 points in the first half to help third-seeded Michigan State cruise past sixth-seeded Memphis 70-48 on Saturday, putting the Spartans in the round of 16 for the fifth time in six years.

Michigan State (27-8) will play the winner of the Duke-Creighton game on Friday in the Midwest Regional semifinals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The Tigers (31-5) advanced in the NCAA tournament for the first time in Josh Pastner’s four seasons. The Conference USA champions were eliminated in the third round because they struggled to stop Harris on the outside or his teammates inside all afternoon.

The Spartans’ top post players — Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix — combined for 27 points and 18 rebounds.

(© 2013 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.)

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