Middle Tennessee State busted thousands, if not millions, of brackets last year when the Blue Raiders upset Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament, but MTSU might actually be even better this season than last season.
The Blue Raiders are currently 20-4 overall, and 10-1 in Conference USA play. Their two biggest out of conference wins came at the expense of two SEC schools, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. MTSU beat the Rebels in Oxford 77-62. Giddy Potts had a game high 20 points, and Reggie Upshaw had a double-double. The Raiders blew Vanderbilt out of the gym just two games later by the score of 71-48.
MT is led by Arkansas transfer JaCorey Williams, Reggie Upshaw, and Giddy Potts. Williams is averaging 18 points and 8 rebounds a game, Upshaw is contributing 14 points and 7 rebounds per game, and Potts is pouring in 15 points per game and shooting close to 40 percent from three point land. Freshman guard Tyrik Dixon is coming on strong with 71 assists so far this season.
When the Blue Raiders get hot they can play with anyone in the country. Former Mississippi State coach, and current Western Kentucky coach, Rick Stansbury said Middle Tennessee is by far the best team in the C-USA, and would be the third best team in the SEC.
Kermit Davis’ squad won the Conference USA tournament last season before beating Michigan State and giving Syracuse all they could handle in the NCAA tournament. That experience paired with the new talent added to the roster this season will make MTSU a tough out come March.