Harris, Payne lift MSU past Memphis, into Sweet 16

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.

[ BOX | AP RECAP | NCAA BRACKET | SCORES | ALL PHOTOS | CONNECTB1G DUNKS ]

HALFTIME: Gary Harris scored 16 points in the first half to carry Michigan State to a 32-29 halftime lead over Memphis in the East Region quarterfinal. The Spartans dominated on the glass in the first half, outrebounding the Tigers 24-18, 11 of which came on the offensive end. The situation could have been even worse for Memphis, as the Spartans led by as many as 13 points in the first. Michigan State, which registered eight assists on 13 field goals, also received seven points from Derrick Nix. Geron Johnson is leading the Tigers. The junior has 13 points.

EDITOR’S NOTE In partnership with Narrative Science, BTN.com posts fast recaps after every half of every Big Ten men’s basketball game. Use the links above for more info on this specific game.

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xKiLLa SPaRTaN on 3/23/2013 @ 6:52pm EDT Said:

Go Green, Go White, Go State!!!

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