AUBURN HILLS (WKZO) -- It was a good day to be a Spartan or a Wolverine fan as both teams started their journey into March Madness with relatively easy wins in the opening round, although Michigan fans got a scare.
Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway Jr. led the scorers with 21 points each as fourth -seeded Michigan’s depth helped propel them past South Dakota State 71 to 56.
Michigan’s Trey Burke had a rough night as the Jack Rabbit’s defense held him to just two field goals, but the rest of the team stepped up.
Burke went down hard in the second half and was briefly taken to the locker room for a quick examination. It was first believed that he may have hit his head, but it turned out to be his backside that took the biggest blow. In just a few minutes he was back out on the bench and a few minutes after that, he was back in the game and scoring.
In the earlier game Senior Derrick Nix tallied 23 points and 15 rebounds to lead Michigan State to a 65-54 win over Valparaiso in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament. Keith Appling added 15 points for the third-seeded Spartans, who built a 35-18 lead at the half and cruised from there.
Michigan State will play Memphis in Saturday's third round. Ben Boggs had 15 points and Erik Buggs added 14 for the Crusaders. Valparaiso shot just 35-percent and finished its season 26-and-8.