MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Butler coach Chris Holtmann had heard enough about Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders were a trendy mid-major pick this year to bust NCAA Tournament brackets, a role Butler once assumed with regularity. This time, the Bulldogs played the role of college basketball Goliath, and they brought Middle Tennessee's feel-good story to a close.
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Kelan Martin scored 19 points, and Butler limited Middle Tennessee's athletic scorers with smothering defense in a 74-65 victory Saturday night to advance to the NCAA Tournament regional semifinals. The Bulldogs (25-8) are going to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2011, when they wrapped up back-to-back appearances in the national title game.
The Latest on Day 3 of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern): 12:05 p.m. It took three days for the NCAA Tournament to produce a major upset. It was a stunner that busted a ton of brackets. Villanova, the defending national champion and the top overall seed, was upended by eighth-seeded Wisconsin 65-62. Fellow No.
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- JaCorey Williams' drive to succeed at Middle Tennessee can be traced in part to a road trip to St. Louis. As a transfer from Arkansas who redshirted last season, Williams was prevented by NCAA rules from traveling with his teammates for their first-round game last March in Missouri against Michigan State.
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- No. 4 seed Butler (24-18) vs. No. 12 seed Middle Tennessee (31-4) Second round, South Region; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 7:10 p.m. EDT. BOTTOM LINE: Butler is looking for its first trip to the Sweet 16 since wrapping up back-to-back runs to the national title game in 2011. But the Bulldogs are no longer a mid-major darling, a title that now belongs to Middle Tennessee.
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Middle Tennessee would like to raise its profile from mid-major darling to name-brand program, following a trail blazed by Butler over the last decade or so.
The 12 seeds had a down year in the NCAA Tournament's opening round. The pairing that has become famous -- or infamous -- for first-round upsets yielded just one win for 12-seeds in four games on Thursday. Since 2007, the 12s have won 50 of 152 games against No. 5s, with 2015 the only year since then a 12 didn't advance. That's an average of 1.5 a year.
UNDATED (AP) -- Middle Tennessee State and Xavier pulled off the biggest upsets during the first round of the NCAA Tournament yesterday. The 12th-seeded Blue Raiders rode Reggie Upshaw's 19 points to an 81-72 win against Minnesota. Trevon Blueitt scored 21 points and Sean O'Mara had 18 in the Musketeers's 76-65 decision over Maryland. UNDATED (AP) -- Top seeds Villanova and Gonzaga have moved into the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Middle Tennessee took down another Big Ten team in the NCAA Tournament, though the latest victory didn't really feel like an upset. The Blue Raiders stood up to Minnesota's rugged defense, then blew past the foul-prone Golden Gophers for an 81-72 victory on Thursday. Middle Tennessee proved it was no one-year wonder after shocking Michigan State as a No. 15 seed last March.
The Latest on the NCAA Tournament (all times EDT): 12:55 a.m. It's been 20 years since a Pac-12 team won the national championship, and Arizona is out to match what the 1997 Wildcats pulled off. They're off on the right foot, beating North Dakota 100-82 in the final game of a day that saw two teams make their NCAA Tournament debuts. Northwestern's inaugural visit ended in a stunning victory over Vanderbilt.
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Bracket-buster Middle Tennessee is back in the NCAA Tournament with a chance to take down another Big Ten team. This time, though, the Blue Raiders won't take anyone by surprise. A year after upsetting Michigan State as a No. 15 seed, Middle Tennessee will be eager to show that it's no one-year wonder when it faces fifth-seeded Minnesota in a first-round game on Thursday. The Blue Raiders (30-4) are seeded No.
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- No. 5 seed Minnesota (24-9) vs. No. 12 seed Middle Tennessee (30-4) First round, South region; Milwaukee; 4 p.m. EDT BOTTOM LINE: Middle Tennessee has its sights set on taking down another Big Ten team after upsetting Michigan State in the first round last year as a No. 15 seed. Minnesota is in the NCAAs for the first time since 2013, completing a remarkable one-year turnaround after going 8-23 last year.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) -- The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders have gotten downright greedy when it comes to March. They are trying to build Middle Tennessee into a powerhouse basketball program, rising from the ranks of mid-majors to join the Gonzagas and Wichita States on the NCAA landscape.
Vanderbilt had a rough ending to the SEC Tournament, blown out 76-62 to Arkansas in the semifinals Saturday. Now the Commodores will have an anxious 24-or-so hours to find out if they're in the NCAA Tournament. "It's been spectacular run by our guys the last couple weeks, been a lot of emotional games all packed into the last few weeks," Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew said.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Reggie Upshaw scored 18 points, including three 3-pointers, with eight rebounds, Giddy Potts had 14 points and five steals and No. 1 seed Middle Tennessee beat UTEP 82-56 on Friday in the Conference USA Tournament semifinals. JaCorey Williams added 13 points and Antwain Johnson scored 11 for Middle Tennessee (29-4), which will face No. 2 seed Louisiana Tech or sixth-seeded Marshall in the championship game on Saturday.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Reggie Upshaw scored 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting, JaCorey Williams added 14 points and nine rebounds and No. 1 seed Middle Tennessee beat Texas-San Antonio 86-70 on Thursday in the Conference USA Tournament. Giddy Potts also scored 14 points, Edward Simpson added 11 and Xavier Habersham 10 for Middle Tennessee (28-4). The Blue Raiders, who have won eight in a row, will play No. 4 seed UTEP in the semifinals Friday.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) -- Giddy Potts scored a career-high 30 points and Middle Tennessee tied a program record with 27 wins, closing out its regular season with a dominating 93-59 win over Florida Atlantic on Saturday night. Middle Tennessee (27-4, 17-1) had already wrapped up the outright Conference USA title, the top seed in the conference tourney, and a bye into the quarterfinal round.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) -- JaCorey Williams scored 23 points, Giddy Potts had 10 of his 15 points in the second half and Middle Tennessee rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat Florida International 70-67 on Thursday night. Reggie Upshaw had 11 points and eight rebounds for Middle Tennessee (26-4, 16-1 Conference USA), which has won six in a row.