AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (Sports Network) -- Derrick Nix dominated with 23 points and 15 rebounds, as Michigan State rolled to a 65-54 victory over Valparaiso in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Keith Appling added 15 points and Gary Harris chipped in 10 for Michigan State (26-8), which built a 17-point halftime lead and opened a 27-point advantage in the second half before cruising to the final buzzer in front of a partisan crowd at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Spartans are seeded third in a treacherous Midwest Region that also features top overall seed Louisville and ACC powerhouse Duke. Michigan State, a perennial contender in its own right, will next play the winner between Memphis and Saint Mary's in the third round Saturday.
Ben Boggs scored 15 points and Erik Buggs added 14 for Valparaiso (26-8), which won the Horizon League title and was making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2004 when the Crusaders played in the Mid-Continent Conference.
The Sports Network