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updated: 3/21/2013 2:43 PM

3rd-seeded Michigan State beats No. 14 Valpo 65-54

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  • Valparaiso guard LaVonte Dority (4) is defended by Michigan State guard Keith Appling (11) and Matt Costello (10) Thursday during the first half in Auburn Hills, Mich.

      Valparaiso guard LaVonte Dority (4) is defended by Michigan State guard Keith Appling (11) and Matt Costello (10) Thursday during the first half in Auburn Hills, Mich.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Derrick Nix had 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to help power third-seeded Michigan State past 14th-seeded Valparaiso 65-54 on Thursday.

The Spartans went on a 26-5 run in the first half to take control.

Michigan State (26-8) will play the winner of the Memphis-St. Mary's game on Saturday when Spartans coach Tom Izzo will be shooting for a spot in the round of 16 for the fifth time in six years.

The Crusaders (26-8) were no match for Michigan State in their first NCAA tournament in nine years, just as they weren't as a first-round loser in 2000 to the eventual champion Spartans.

Valpo had enough size to match up, but didn't have enough strength.

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