Michigan State Basketball: Complete Michigan State vs. Memphis Preview

Kyle KauffungContributor IIIMarch 21, 2013

AUBURN HILLS, MI - MARCH 21:  Gary Harris #14 (R) and Branden Dawson #22 of the Michigan State Spartans react to a play in the second half against the Valparaiso Crusaders during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at at The Palace of Auburn Hills on March 21, 2013 in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The No. 3 seed Michigan State Spartans (26-8, 13-5 Big Ten) are set to face off with the No. 6 seed Memphis Tigers (31-4, 16-0 C-USA) in the third round of the 2013 NCAA tournament on Saturday at The Palace at Auburn Hills in Auburn Hill, MI.

The Spartans are led in scoring by Keith Appling with 13.6 points-per-game, while Gary Harris and Adreian Payne average 12.9 and 10.4 points, respectively.

Joe Jackson leads the Tigers in scoring with 13.6 points per game, while Adonis Thomas, Chris Crawford and Geron Johnson average 11.9, 10.7 and 10.5 point, respectively.

This game is going to be about a pretty good Michigan State defense going up against a strong Memphis offense.

The Spartans are ranked 27th in three-point field-goal percentage defense, holding teams to 30.1 percent from beyond the arc. Michigan State is ranked 29th in scoring defense and 36th in field-goal percentage defense, holding teams to 59.3 points-per-game and 39.4 percent shooting.

Memphis is ranked 16th in field-goal percentage and 30th in three-point field-goal percentage shooting 47.9 percent from the field and making 37.9 percent of its threes. The Tigers are ranked 21st in points per game, averaging 75.9 points, compared to the Spartans, which are ranked 152nd and average 68.2 points. Memphis is also ranked 4th in assists-per-game, averaging 17.2 assists-per-game.

On defense, the Tigers are ranked 4th in blocked shots per game and 17th in steal per game, averaging 6.3 blocks and nine steals per game.

On the boards, Memphis is ranked 39th with 37.8 rebounds per game. Michigan State is ranked 55th with 37.3 per game. However, the Spartans are ranked 14th, while the Tigers are ranked 38th in rebound margin, out-rebounding their opponents by an average of 6.7 and 4.9 rebounds per game, respectively.

Michigan State defeated the No. 14 seed Valparaiso Crusaders (26-8, 13-3 Horizon) 65-54 in the second round of the tournament today at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Michigan State had three players finish in double-digits scoring. 

Derrick Nix had a double-double (his fourth of the season) and led the Spartans in scoring with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Keith Appling scored 15 and grabbed six rebounds, while Gary Harris added 10 points and a team-high 4 assists.

Memphis defeated No. 11 seed St. Mary’s 54-52 in the second round of the tournament today at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Tigers also had three players finish in double-digits scoring.

Joe Jackson led the Tigers with 14 points, while Tarik Black and Adonis Thomas each scored 12. D.J. Stephens scored nine and had seven blocks.

All stats were obtained from NCAA.com and ESPN.com.