Michigan State's 5 Keys to Beating Memphis in Round of 32 in NCAA Tournament

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Michigan State's 5 Keys to Beating Memphis in Round of 32 in NCAA Tournament
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Does Michigan State have the wheels to cruise by Memphis?

The Michigan State Spartans are a win away from reaching their 11th Sweet 16 under coach Tom Izzo, but they'll have to handle the Memphis Tigers at 2:45 p.m. Saturday at the Palace of Auburn Hills before moving on to the fourth round of the 2013 NCAA tournament. 

The No. 4 seeded Spartans were on the verge of blowing the doors off the No. 13 seeded Valparaiso Crusaders Thursday, but lackluster perimeter defense in the second half led to a 65-54 victory behind center Derrick Nix's outstanding showmanship (23 points,15 rebounds). 

The No. 6 seeded Tigers had trouble slipping by No. 11 St. Mary's in the second round, notching a 54-52 win based on a 14-point day from Joe Jackson and a 12-point offering from Adonis Thomas. 

How will Michigan State respond after letting the Crusaders hang around? Will the Tigers avenge a two-point win and shock the Spartans—a perennial power—in March Madness and head to the Sweet 16? 

There are obvious key points to address, but we'll stick to five in this slideshow. 

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