Remember the Blue Raiders? That scrappy team that upended pre-tournament favorite Michigan State as a 15-seed last year? Well, they’re back to their upset ways. This time, the victim was 5-seed Minnesota. The Blue Raiders were actually -1.5 point favorites coming into the contest and they didn’t disappoint.
A slow start left them trailing Minnesota 7-0 early, but then the shooting started to wake up. They outscored the Gophers 37-24 the rest of the first half to take a 37-31 lead into the break using a combination of hard drives to the bucket and good outside shooting.
In the second half, they Raiders got off to a hot start running up a 15-7 spurt to put further distance between themselves and the Gophers including this three from guard Tyrik Dixon.
Minnesota made a run to cut the lead down to six points at one point in the second half, but that’s when Reggie Upshaw took over for Middle Tennessee, scoring nine straight points for the Blue Raiders. The trio of Jacorey Williams, Reggie Upshaw and Giddy Potts combined for 47 points in the game. Speaking of Williams, his “and 1” with 1:38 left was basically the dagger that ended the game.