Middle Tennessee
(USA TODAY Sports)

Middle Tennessee (25-9) shocked the world Friday evening, beating 2nd-seeded Michigan State 90-81 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Junior forward Reggie Upshaw led the Blue Raiders with 21 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. It was only the eighth time in NCAA history that a 15-seed has defeated a 2-seed.

It was clear from the start that Michigan State (26-9) was going to struggle against the Blue Raiders. Middle Tennessee opened the game on a 15-2 run, going 3-for-3 from three-point range. They would never trail in the game.

Reggie Upshaw, Giddy Potts, Darnell Harris, Perrin Buford, and Jaqawn Raymond all finished in double figures. Harris, who played 28 minutes against the Spartans, was the only starter that didn’t play over 37 minutes.

The Blue Raiders were just too much on the inside, giving Denzel Valentine and Matt Costello some of the biggest defensive problems they’ve had all year. Costello finished the night with 22 points and 9 rebounds, but time after time had difficulties getting outside to guard the dangerous three-point shooters of Middle Tennessee. Denzel Valentine, a consideration for player of the year, had a somewhat miserable time against Middle Tennessee. Valentine scored 13 points and had 12 assists, but also accounted for six turnovers, some of which came in crunch time.

If you’re one of the six perfect brackets left in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge, consider yourselves lucky and brag about it while you can. Middle Tennessee won’t be the only team that pulls off a huge upset today.

15-seed Middle Tennessee will move on to the Round of 32 to face 10th-seeded Syracuse on Sunday, March 20. The Orange will test their ability to shoot the three with their zone defense, and it will be yet another a fun game to watch in this years tournament.

Casey covers College Basketball for MFST. You can follow him on twitter @wxmozz. Be sure to check MyFantasySportsTalk.com for more coverage of the NCAA Tournament.

 

https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/untitled-61.png?fit=1000%2C600&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/untitled-61.png?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Casey MosrieAnalysisBasketballConference USANCAABNews and UpdatesRecent PostsCollege Basketball,conference usa basketball,michigan state basketball,middle tennessee,ncaa basketball,NCAA TournamentMiddle Tennessee (25-9) shocked the world Friday evening, beating 2nd-seeded Michigan State 90-81 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Junior forward Reggie Upshaw led the Blue Raiders with 21 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. It was only the eighth time in NCAA history that a 15-seed...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?