Upshaw, Middle Tennessee advance again at NCAA Tournament

Middle Tennessee State's JaCorey Williams celebrates during the second half of an NCAA college basketball tournament first round game against Minnesota Thursday, March 16, 2017, in Milwaukee. Middle Tennessee State won 81-72. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

MILWAUKEE (WKRN) – Reggie Upshaw scored 19 points and 12th seeded Middle Tennessee beat 5th seeded Minnesota 81-72 Thursday in Milwaukee in round one of the NCAA Tournament.

It’s the second straight year the Blue Raiders beat a Big 10 team in round one and once again Upshaw was the star.

MTSU led by as many as 17 points and 59-42 in the second half, but the Gophers went on a 16-3 run to close to within four at 62-58.

That’s when Upshaw delivered the shot of the game drilling a three from the left wing and Minnesota never challenged again.

Upshaw said he was ready for the biggest shot of the game.

“In my head I was thinking as soon as the ball came to me I was going to shoot it regardless. I’m glad it went in,”stated Upshaw.

It was the 99th win of Upshaw’s MTSU career and teammate Ed Simpson said they have seen this before.

“I told him when I came back in there that was the biggest shot of the game right there. We went on that big run and then they came back with their’s. Reggie he did his thing at the end.”

Simpson hit two 3-point field goals in the win. Giddy Potts had 15 points for MTSU, despite foul trouble. JaCorey Williams had 13 points and 6 rebounds despite a slow start.

With the win, Middle Tennessee advances to play 4th seeded Butler Saturday in Milwaukee.

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