Michigan State and Michigan yesterday both won their NCAA Men’s Tournament opening matchups at the Palace of Auburn Hills as the Round of 64 March Madness tipped off with 16 games with the same number of contests scheduled for today.
Michigan State had no trouble advancing in the Midwest Region as the third seeded Spartans Thursday afternoon beat Valparaiso 65-54. Derrick Nix led the way for M-S-U with 23 points and 15 rebounds. The Spartans third round opponent tomorrow afternoon at the Palace, right after Michigan plays, will be Memphis as the sixth-seeded Tigers managed to get by St. Mary’s 54-52.
Last night, Michigan had a tight first half but then outscored South Dakota State by 11 in the second to pull out a 71-56 win over the Jackrabbits. Glenn Robinson the Third and Tim Hardaway Jr. each scored 21 points for the Wolverines, who are the fourth seed in the South Region. Saturday afternoon, with a 12:15 start time, the Wolverines will take on number-5 seed Virginia Commonwealth as the Rams yesterday crushed the Akron Zips 88-to-42. Thursday’s major upset saw 14-seed Harvard knock off number-3 seed New Mexico 68-62 while Gonzaga, the number-one seed in the West Region, survived a big scare before disposing of Southern University 64-58. The overall number-one seed Louisville beat North Carolina A&T by 31 points. Top seeds Indiana and Kansas hit the hardwood today as more teams battle toward the Round of 32.