The Michigan State Spartans didn't run away from the Memphis Tigers on Saturday as some expected, but they did scratch out a 70-48 win to reach their 11th Sweet 16 under coach Tom Izzo.
Spartans frosh sensation Gary Harris couldn't be stopped in the first half; he outscored Memphis 14-13 at one point by way of dagger-like long-distance shot after shot. Harris found himself in foul trouble late in the second half, but he led all scorers with 23 points.
Memphis hung tightly to Michigan State, but it was ultimately outdone in the final 20 minutes, 38-19.
Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne used their size to establish Michigan State's post game. Nix scored 13 points to go with seven rebounds, while Payne dunked, blocked and shot his way to an impressive line of 14 points, 10 boards and five blocks.
Keith Appling sprained his right shoulder in the second half and scored just two points.
Memphis' Geron Johnson scored 16 points, and Joe Jackson added 12.
Michigan State faces the winner of Creighton and Duke in the Sweet 16.
Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan State Spartans basketball writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81