2013 NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 6 Memphis vs. No. 3 Michigan State

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 6 Memphis Tigers just barely squeaked out a victory against No. 11 Saint Mary’s Gaels, but a win is a win in the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers will host the No. 3 Michigan State Spartans, who won the first game of the round of 64 in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Michigan State will be the favorite coming into this game, since it is one of the beasts out of the Big Ten this year, but it is important to note that Memphis has not lost a game since Feb. 26. However, the Tigers did let the Gaels get back into the game, while the Spartans dominated the No. 14 Valparaiso.

What to Watch For

It will be interesting to see how Memphis handles Michigan State’s bigs. Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne have been great all season long, but it is Nix who dominated the second round game by scoring 23 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. You can’t forget about the phenomenal guard play of Keith Appling, who chipped in with 15 points.

The leading scorer Joe Jackson did his thing for the Tigers, scoring 14 points against the Gaels. Two other players scored in double figures.

Memphis has a pretty high scoring offense, while Michigan State has a great Big Ten defense, but something has to give in this one.

Prediction

Let’s go with the upset in this one. Memphis is a lot better than Michigan State’s second round opponent and the guards of the Tigers are going to come up big. Don’t expect Nix to repeat his big time performance either.

Memphis 76 Michigan State 70

 

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