Skip to main content

Based on national opinion, Gophers are the underdogs against Middle Tennessee

Depite being the 5-seed, the Gophers are the on-paper underdog of the tournament.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

It seems like every college basketball expert is picking Middle Tennessee to upset the Gophers just like they did as the No. 15 seed against No. 2 seed Michigan State last year.

The Blue Raiders, the No. 12 seed this year, won Conference USA going away while the Gophers, the No. 5 seed in the South Region, turned in the biggest turnaround in the country, going from eight wins last season to 24 this season.

Despite Minnesota's success, they're going into Thursday's first round of the NCAA Tournament as the on-paper underdog.

According to the Courier-Journal, it's the upset to pick.

Sports Illustrated says it won't be a shock if the Blue Raiders beat the Gophers.

"The Blue Raiders added Arkansas transfer JaCorey Williams (17.3 points per game) to an already loaded team that includes star junior Giddy Potts (15.8 ppg) and senior Reggie Upshaw (14.5 ppg). Those veterans led Middle Tennessee to a stunning upset over No. 2 Michigan State last year. There’s no doubt that this team is better, which gives the Blue Raiders all the ingredients to pull another NCAA tournament upset.

Minnesota’s lack of NCAA tournament experience and coach Richard Pitino’s first trip to the dance make this matchup the region’s most compelling game. It would be hard to consider it a huge upset if Middle Tennessee wins.

In the Chicago Tribune, Middle Tennessee is the Cinderella team to watch.

"They'll wear the slipper again this year after upsetting No. 2 seed Michigan State in the first round last season. This year's Blue Raiders might be better with the return of Reggie Upshaw and Giddy Potts, who combined for 40 points in that upset. They have two top-50 wins."

USA Today is aware of Middle Tennessee's depth and tournament experience, but also notes Minnesota's biggest strength.

"Middle Tennessee is one of five 30-win teams in Division I and is 5-0 on neutral courts. Minnesota has played the nation’s 17th-toughest schedule according to the NCAA’s measurement. But in Middle Tennessee it is facing a team that allows 63.1 points per game, the 20th-best mark Division I and the same total as No. 1 overall seed Villanova."

According to For The Win, Minnesota's limitations when defensive rebounding and shooting could help Middle Tennessee turn it into a blowout.

"Middle Tennessee also takes care of the ball and can make shots. This team is going to score on Minnesota, and the Big Ten team has had trouble putting the ball in the basket all season with an effective field goal percentage of 48.6, which ranks 249th nationally. This one might not even be close."

Richard Pitino certainly has plenty of bulletin board material if he wants it.

The first-round matchup will be played in Milwaukee at 3 p.m. Thursday.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 9.32.09 AM

6-year-old Northfield girl missing, woman dead of apparent suicide

Anyone who had seen the girl or the deceased woman in the past two weeks should call Northfield police.

Pixabay - jet skis resting

Jet skier injured in explosion on Minnesota lake

The explosion happened on Little Lake 14 in St. Louis County.

Krisit Noem

Kristi Noem's response to 10-year-old Ohio girl pregnant after being raped

Abortion is illegal in South Dakota unless the mother's life is in danger.

police lights

Sheriff: Deputy shoots gun-wielding man in western Wisconsin

One deputy fired on the man, striking him in an unknown area of his body.

Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 7.28.32 AM

Man found dead in 26 inches of water in Le Sueur County

The 45-year-old was found in near the shoreline on Lake Washington.

police lights

Man arrested after abduction attempt in Bemidji

The incident occurred in Cameron Park on June 25.

betty danger's

Betty Danger's in NE Minneapolis for sale for $4.2 million

The asking price includes the restaurant's ferris wheel, as well as a nearby single-family home.

monkeypox

Minnesota health officials warn monkeypox cases could grow rapidly

The state has so far confirmed only six cases of monkeypox virus.

291734046_502006195017388_4346404407323115820_n

Bodies of woman, three young children recovered from Vadnais Lake

Authorities say the bodies recovered were those of two boys, one girl and their mother.

Pixabay laptop keyboard phone dark

Charges: Duluth man had hundreds of child porn images, videos

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found nearly 330 images on the man's electronic devices.

hennepin county sheriff water patrol lake minnetonka

Scuba diver found dead in Lake Minnetonka identified as 20-year-old

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said 20-year-old Brady Alan Aune, from Elko New Market, died of freshwater drowning on June 3.

Related

Based on national opinion, Gophers are the underdogs against Middle Tennessee

Depite being the 5-seed, the Gophers are the on-paper underdog of the tournament.

March Madness: Gophers get 5-seed, will play Middle Tennessee

The Gophers open the NCAA tourney Thursday against Middle Tennessee.

March Madness: Gophers get 5-seed, will play Middle Tennessee

The Gophers open the NCAA tourney Thursday against Middle Tennessee.

NCAA Tournament: Trying to put a dent in Middle Tennessee's armor

Middle Tennessee is wearing the slipper, but they're not as a big and bad as most people think.

NCAA Tournament: Trying to put a dent in Middle Tennessee's armor

Middle Tennessee is wearing the slipper, but they're not as a big and bad as most people think.

Updated bracketology: Gophers could skyrocket to a high NCAA tourney seed

Minnesota's rise in the Big Ten could result in a really impressive seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Updated bracketology: Gophers could skyrocket to a high NCAA tourney seed

Minnesota's rise in the Big Ten could result in a really impressive seed in the NCAA Tournament.

No. 2 in the country and NCAA doesn't give Gophers softball a top 16 seed

Despite the most wins in the country, the Gophers didn't get one of the top 16 seeds.