Conference: Conference USA
Coach: Kermit Davis Jr.
Record: 30-4 (17-1 C-USA)
Ratings and Rankings:
– Kenpom: 49
– RPI: 36
– AP/USA Today: N/A
Seeding: The Blue Raiders have 30 wins on the year, a pair of which came against the RPI top 50. NBC Sports current bracket projection tabs them as a No. 11 seed. A scary No. 11 seed.
Names you need to know: The big three you need to know for Middle Tennessee State is JaCorey Williams, Reggie Upshaw and Giddy Potts. Upshaw and Potts introduced themselves to the nation last year, combining for 40 points in No. 15 over No. 2 upset of Michigan State. Williams, the transfer from Arkansas, was a first team all-Conference USA performer this year, averaging 17.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
Stats you need to know: 11. That’s how many 3-pointers they sunk in an upset win over No. 2 seed Michigan State in the first round of 2016 NCAA Tournament. While they don’t have some of the big men who helped space the floor, they still have the potential light it up from deep.
Big wins, bad losses: Middle Tennessee has a bunch of good wins: a neutral floor win over UNC Wilmington — another trendy upset pick next week — at home against Vanderbilt and on the road against Ohio Valley regular season champion Belmont. Middle Tennessee’s worst loss came against Tennessee State back in November, allowing 46 second half points in a 74-63 defeat.
How’d they get here?: The Blue Raiders dominated C-USA. They set a record for 17 conference wins, 14 of which were decided by 10 or more points. After getting a fight from Marshall in the second half, Middle Tennessee stretched the lead to double figures, picking up a 83-72 tournament title win.
Outlook: Middle Tennessee will be the trendy upset pick. Although it won’t be surprising giving its upset win over Michigan State from a season ago. The Blue Raiders are led by a trio of reliable scorers, who all happen to be experienced upperclassmen. While this team is missing some key pieces from a season ago, they’ve become a more efficient team on both ends of the floor.
How do I know you?: From last year when they ruined your bracket.