Upset win still registering with Blue Raiders

Photo by Sarah Grace Taylor // Managing Editor

Middle Tennessee junior forward Reggie Upshaw’s Twitter username is “TheRegister347.”

And much like his Twitter handle might indicate, Upshaw and his Blue Raider teammates are still trying to register their upset win over No. 2 seed Michigan State.

“I say it set in late last night, early this morning… seeing ourselves on TV,” Upshaw said. “It was just like… ‘woah’… we had just shocked the world. They gave us a four percent chance to win the game, so anytime you have those odds stacked against you and end up pulling off what we did, it’s definitely going to shock you.”

“Last night it just seemed so unreal,” MTSU senior forward Perrin Buford added. “Don’t get me wrong, we came into the game knowing we were going to win. But after the game we were just like, ‘Oh shoot, we did just beat the No. 2 team in the country.'”

“It was an unreal feeling.”

The 15-seeded Blue Raiders defeated Michigan State 90-81 on Friday afternoon, becoming just the eighth 15-seed to beat a No. 2 seed.

And the monumental upset was a hot topic at MTSU’s team breakfast Saturday morning.

“We talked about it this morning at breakfast,” Blue Raiders senior guard JaQawn Raymond said. “It’s still surreal to everybody, but we know we worked hard for [Michigan State], and it’s what we came here for. We came to win the weekend, and we have one more game to take care of.”

Following the win that sent the basketball world into a frenzy, people close to the Blue Raiders began to reach out to congratulate the “giant killers” through texts and various social media outlets.

At the expense of their phone batteries.

“My phone battery is hurting right now,” Upshaw laughingly said. “I can’t seem to keep a full charge. When I get to my phone, I always have like a couple hundred notifications on different social media. To have that kind of support is a great feeling. It’s basically a whole nation of people just talking about you.”

Among some of the friends and family members to reach out to MTSU players, specifically to Upshaw, was former Ohio State and First Team All-American defensive back, Vonn Bell.

Bell, who is also a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, declared for the NFL Draft this off season.

Upshaw and Bell work out together during the summer, and grew up playing basketball with each other in the Chattanooga area.

“[Bell] told me that he was proud of the work that I put in,” Upshaw said. “We work out during the summers together, so to hear from him, after not hearing from him in awhile, was special.”

Even though the win over the Spartans, perhaps, hasn’t fully registered with MTSU, the Blue Raiders, notably guard Giddy Potts, aren’t letting it get in the way of Sunday’s game against Syracuse.

“It really still hasn’t set in with me,” Potts said. “I just know we beat a really good team. In high school, we had beat a team like this, a team that was supposed to win state. And after that game, we couldn’t get over it and we came back and lost. I just know that I can’t keep myself on that game and I have to go to the next game.”

For more sports stories, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Sport.

To contact Sports Editor Connor Grott, email or follow him on Twitter at @Connor_Grott.

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