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NCAA tournament South Region roundup: Middle Tennessee strikes again, tops Minnesota
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South REGION ROUNDUP

NCAA tournament South Region roundup: Middle Tennessee strikes again, tops Minnesota

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MILWAUKEE — Reggie Upshaw scored 19 points, Giddy Potts added 15 and Middle Tennessee State took down another Big Ten team in the NCAA tournament, beating Minnesota 81-72 on Thursday.

No. 12 seed Middle Tennessee proved it was no one-year wonder after upsetting Michigan State as a No. 15 seed last March.

The Blue Raiders (31-4) instead played like seasoned NCAA veterans with the way they held off the Gophers’ comeback attempt from a 17-point deficit in front of a loud and large contingent of Minnesota fans.

Upshaw responded with 7 straight points, including a 3-pointer and a reverse layup during a 7-3 run to help give Middle Tennessee a 10-point lead with 3:40 left.

Fifth-seeded Minnesota (24-10) had bounced back from an eight-win season in 2015-16.

Butler 76, Winthrop 64: Avery Woodson scored 18 points and tied a career high with six 3-pointers in his NCAA tournament debut to lead the Bulldogs over the Eagles in Milwaukee.

Woodson, a graduate transfer from Memphis, hit five 3s in the first half to help the fourth-seeded Bulldogs build a 14-point halftime lead.

A 12-2 run in the middle of the second half gave Butler a 60-43 lead with fewer than eight minutes left and put the game out of reach for the 13th-seeded Eagles.

Xavier Cooks had 23 points to lead Big South champion Winthrop (26-7).

Butler (24-8) looked comfortable all afternoon at the Bradley Center, the home of Big East rival Marquette. The last time the Bulldogs played in Milwaukee, Woodson scored 17 points in a 68-65 victory over Marquette last month.

One more win in Milwaukee and Butler could advance to their fifth Sweet 16 since 2003.

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