MTSU Men Start Road To Dance Today

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#2 seeded MTSU Blue Raiders basketball begins their quest for Conference USA tonight against #7 Charlotte. Here’s what you need to know about the Blue Raiders opportunity to punch a ticket to the dance.

Location: Birmingham, Ala.
Arena: Legacy Arena (17,654)
Radio: WGNS (1450/100.5/101.9), WPRT (97.5/102.5)
Play-by-Play: Chip Walters
Analysis: Kyle Turnham
TV: ASN
TV Talent: Dave Armstrong (PxP) and Tim Scarborough (analysis)

CHARLOTTE 79, RICE 69
Jon Davis scored a career-high 27 points and seventh-seeded Charlotte beat No. 10 seed Rice, 79-69. Braxton Ogbueze scored 19 points for Charlotte, while Joseph Uchebo had 12 points and grabbed Conference USA Championship record 18 rebounds.

5 Keys To The Game (courtesy of goblueraiders.com)

  • Coming through in the clutch :The Blue Raiders are the best in Conference USA in close games, going 8-1 in contests decided by three points or less in 2015-16. Middle Tennessee’s potential quarterfinal opponenents lack the experience and success of the Raiders in such games with Charlotte going 1-5 and Rice going 2-1. In fact, not only does Middle Tennessee have the best record in C-USA in games decided by three or less, it is the only team to play in more than seven such games, all experiences that could prove to be invaluable in the tournament.
  • Raiders ‘role’ing down the stretch  Middle Tennessee’s role players have stepped it up the last few weeks of conference play, giving the Raiders some added momentum and a threegame winning streak heading into the tournament. JaQawn Raymond has filled the void at point guard with Jacob Ivory out, averaging 7.8 points with a 3.0 assist-to-turnover ratio in the last five games. Xavier Habersham has also pitched in 5.5 points and 3.3 rebounds the last four contests while Aldonis Foote is contributing 6.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in the last three outings.
  • Downtown Raiders  MT has been deadly from long range this season, ranking 27th among D-I teams in three-point percentage (38.7%). Giddy Potts is currently second nationally in three-point percentage, converting 49.3 percent from deep, and will be a welcome addition in the tournament after missing three games due to a concussion. The Raiders have been even better lately, shooting 40.2 percent from deep and making 8.6 threes per game in conference play compared to 36.4 percent and 7.3 threes per game in non-conference play.
  • Protecting the Rock  Middle Tennessee’s offense strives on decision-making and taking good care of the basketball. As the season has gone on the Blue Raiders have constantly decreased their amount of turnovers. MT is averaging 12.0 turnovers on the season but have dropped that number to 10.8 in conference play and just 10.3 in their last 10 contests
  • Fantastic Four Giddy Potts  Just last season, Middle Tennessee did not have a single player average over 10 points per game. Reggie Upshaw was close at 9.9, but this season MT has four players in double-figures in Upshaw (13.5), Giddy Potts (15.0), Darnell Harris (11.8) and Perrin Buford (11.6)

 

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