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. -- Derrick Nix got a pass down low, backed up his beefy body to put an opponent on his back and scored. For much of Michigan States NCAA tournament-opening win, it was as easy as giving Nix the ball and getting out of his way. Nix had 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to help power the third-seeded Spartans past 14th-seeded Valparaiso 65-54 on Thursday with an inspired effort by their only senior. "Its my last go-around," he said. "And, Im not ready to be done yet." The Spartans went on a 26-5 run in the first half to take control, and cruised to an easy victory much to the delight of a crowd filled with green-clad fans at the home of the NBAs Detroit Pistons. Their hard-driving coach, though, wasnt totally satisfied because he said a "sluggish" start was followed up by a "disgusting," finish. "I was pleased with about 33, 34 minutes of that game," Tom Izzo said. Michigan State (26-8) will play the winner of the Memphis-Saint Marys game on Saturday when the Spartans will be shooting for a spot in the round of 16 for the fifth time in six years. The Crusaders (26-8) were no match for Michigan State in their first NCAA tourney in nine years, just as they werent as a first-round loser in 2000 to the eventual champion Spartans. Valpo had enough size to match up, but didnt have enough strength. "We were a little overpowering inside," Izzo said. The Crusaders didnt seem worried about the 6-foot-9, 270-pound Nix when asked about him the day before the game. Valpos 6-8, 240-pound forward Kevin Van Wijk nonchalantly said he and his teammates faced similar players in the Horizon League. If thats true, it didnt seem to prepare Van Wijk and his fellow post players for Nixs brute force, relatively nimble feet and soft hands. "He had some ups and downs during the season, but he really bounced back," Van Wijk said. Nix had nine points in the first half and when he made his fourth shot to put Michigan State ahead 32-12, he had as many field goals as the Crusaders entire team. That basket was scored after backing down Bobby Capobianco so much that the 6-10, 245-pound forward fell on his back as if he was hit by a linebacker. Nix scored 14 in the second half, two points shy of matching his career high. "Hes definitely a load," Valpo forward Ryan Broekhoff said. "He just sealed us a little bit too low, too close to the rim. And with his size and his skill level around the hoop, its almost impossible to guard him." Van Wijk, meanwhile, missed both of his shots in the first half. He fouled out without making any of his six attempts and finishing with two points -- far below his 12.7-point average. "They took away just about anything we wanted to do, and that really got us out of our rhythm," Van Wijk said. "It seemed like every time we tried something different, they immediately had an answer for it. " Valpos other post player and leading scorer, Broekhoff, scored eight points -- half his average -- on 2 of 11 shooting. Erik Buggs scored 14 and Matt Kenney had 10 points for the senior-laden Crusaders, whose coach Bryce Drew called as many timeouts as he could to slow down the Spartans. It didnt work. "You didnt see their best, and I think we had something to do with it," Izzo said. While Nix dominated on the inside, Michigan State guards Keith Appling and Gary Harris gave the team offensive balance by making jumpers. Appling scored 15 points -- making three 3-pointers -- and Harris had 10 points. When Valpo was in a zone early in the game when the score was tied at 8, Harris made a 3-pointer to put the Spartans ahead for good midway through the first half. He made another 3-pointer during the games decisive run, making his extra work earlier in the week pay off for him and his team. More than an hour after Mondays practice, Harris was back in the gym. He got a collapsed ball-return machine out of a corner by himself, wheeled it under a rim and set it up to put up some high-arcing shots. He made 52 of his first 71 shots, mostly from long range, during a personal workout thanks to a sweet stroke that has served the freshman -- and the Spartans -- well this season. "Harris is going to be a special player," Izzo said. "He can really make some shots." The Spartans missed 32 shots and corralled many of them, jumping up and hustling across the court for 20 offensive rebounds to help them have a 49-23 advantage in a facet of the game that Izzos teams have done consistently during their streak of 16 straight NCAA tournaments. "When they are on their game, they can play with any team in the country," Capobianco said. Beats By Dre Studio
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. Hochevar allowed three hits in seven innings and combined with two relievers for a 5-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday night. "I just tried to stay within my approach and continue to battle like crazy and make good pitches.HILVERSUM, Netherlands -- Graeme Storm shot a 4-under 66 Friday for a three-shot lead after the second round of the KLM Open. The English golfer didnt drop a shot in superb scoring conditions, a day after signing for a new course record 63 on the Hilversumsche course. He has an 11-under total 129 at the halfway mark. Three players were tied for second, with Spains Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (65), Scotlands Scott Jamieson (64) and Swedens Peter Hanson (66), all at 8 under. Storm is looking for his second European Tour victory after capturing the 2007 French Open -- although hes more concerned with just keeping his Tour card. Hes currently just inside the cutoff to retain his full membership for 2013. "I played great day today with only one poor tee shot at that was at 14 where I managed to get up-and-down to save par," he said. "But the main goal this week, like the past few months, is to try and secure my Tour card for neext year, so thats been at the forefront of my mind for probably the last three months. Beats by Dre
. quot; Hanson has not won a tournament since the 2010 Czech Open but secured his place in Europes Ryder Cup team on the back of six top-10 finishes this season, including third at the Masters. And after playing alongside Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal for a second straight day, Hanson was pleased to have put on an impressive display. "Its just nice to have a bogey-free round as this tree-lined golf course is very tricky," he said. "But while Jose Maria didnt play well himself, I am sure he would be pleased that both Martin (Kaymer), Nicolas (Colsaerts) and myself are in form." Colsaerts also didnt drop a shot in a round of 65 that included five birdies, but is six shots back after a 70 on Thursday. Kaymer, who won the Dutch event in 2010 and played with Colsaerts, had a 71 to remain at 4 under. ' ' '