Middle Tennessee State will try to keep the best March Madness Cinderella story of the 2016 tournament going when the Blue Raiders face the Syracuse Orange in a game that will stream live from St. Louis, Missouri, on Sunday, after Middle Tennessee caused NCAA basketball fans nationwide to burn their brackets by knocking off Michigan State in one of the most unexpected first-round upsets in recent years.
Middle Tennessee’s Jaqawn Raymond throws salt in MSU’s wound with the 4-point play. Spartans trail by 6 at half https://t.co/QRQskqiwOp
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 18, 2016
If Middle Tennessee manages to pull off a second consecutive upset by getting past Syracuse on Sunday afternoon, they will become only the second Number 15 seed to make it through to the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament Sweet 16 round.
If they accomplish that feat, the Blue Raiders will likely ride the shoulders of their 6-foot 2-inch, 220-pound sophomore guard Giddy Potts, who in addition to having one of the most memorable names in college basketball, also flew under the radar this season on his way to leading the country in three-point shooting — sinking 50.3 percent of his attempts from behind the line.
Potts scored 19 points to lead previously-obscure Middle Tennessee past Michigan State, considered among the favorites to win the whole tournament, on Friday in the first round of the March Madness Midwest Regional by a shockingly comfortable score of 90-81.
Watch highlights of the upset that shook up the world of March Madness in the video below.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the Syracuse vs. Middle Tennessee State NCAA Men’s Basketball second-round game, see the links in the final paragraph of this article. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 3:10 p.m. Pacific, at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri, on Sunday, March 20.
Syracuse does not exactly come into the game as an overwhelming favorite. The Orange needed to record a surprising upset of their own just to get into the Round of 32, easily stopping Dayton by what turned out to be a lopsided 70-51 score.
Watch highlights of the Syracuse vs. Dayton first-round game in the following video.
Syracuse pulled off the upset while shooting a rather humble 39.6 percent from the field. But the win highlighted the true strength of the Syracuse team — a smothering 2-3 zone defense. Jim Boeheim’s team held Dayton to just 0.79 points per possession.
Syracuse was led by freshman Malachi Richardson, who sank five of his 12 field goal attempts along with eight of nine free throws to finish with 21 points.
But college basketball aficionados believe that Middle Tennessee could have an answer to the Syracuse zone, with its pinpoint outside shooting attack, spearheaded by Potts.
The Blue Raiders overall hit better than 40 percent of their long-range attempts in the 2015-2016 campaign.
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In addition to Potts, who hit three of five three-point attempts in the upset of Michigan State, Middle Tennessee will also get help shooting over the Syracuse zone — rather than trying to break through it — from senior Darnell Harris who converted 40.4 percent of his three point shots during the season.
“We don’t fear anybody,” Potts told the media on Saturday. “Our team is so versatile, we feel like we can beat anybody in this tournament.”
To watch a live stream of the Syracuse Vs. Middle Tennessee State NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament second-round March Madness matchup, go to the NCAA March Madness Live site at this link. Unfortunately, because the game will be carried by cable network TNT, login credentials from a TV provider will be required. Syracuse vs. Middle Tennessee will also stream live via the TNT site at this link. The game will be available to stream live on mobile devices, such as the iPhone or iPad, by downloading the March Madness app, as well as on set-top streaming boxes including Roku and Apple TV.
[Photo By Jamie Squire/Getty Images]