Bracket Buster! No. 2 Michigan State bounced in first round by No. 15 Middle Tennessee State, 90-81

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Reality hit Middle Tennessee State guard Jaqawn Raymond as he walked triumphantly off the floor. Giddy Potts thought it might come later, once he returned to the team hotel and flipped on the TV. It sunk in immediately for Michigan State. Relying on the same balanced scoring that carried them to the NCAA Tournament, the No. 15 seed Blue Raiders ended the second-seeded Spartans’ title hopes in convincing fashion Friday. They never trailed in a 90-81 first-round victory that sent brackets around the country into trash cans. “We wanted to win this game as bad as anybody wanted us to win,” said Potts, the Blue Raiders’ hot-shooting sophomore guard. “We played our (butts) off today.” Reggie Upshaw had 21 points and Potts finished with 19 for Middle Tennessee State (25-9), which became the eighth No. 15 seed to knock off a No. 2 since seeding began in 1985.   THE TEN GREATEST UPSETS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY The last time it happened was 2013, when Florida Gulf Coast beat Georgetown on its way to the Sweet 16. The Blue Raiders will try to do the same against No. 10 seed Syracuse on Sunday. “I’ll be honest with you, in my wildest dreams I didn’t think they’d hit some of the shots they hit,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “We didn’t guard them good, but man, they made some shots.” The Spartans (29-6) were a trendy pick to win the national championship after capturing the Big Ten Tournament title. Part of it had to do with the experience of Valentine and the seniors, and part of it had to do with Izzo’s postseason pedigree. “I’m more mad and disappointed because I know what this team could accomplish,” Valentine said. “It kind of fell apart, and it just stinks right now because I know the capability our team had.”   FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS SPORTS ON Continue Reading

Syracuse makes unlikely trip to Sweet 16 after win over Middle Tennessee State

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The insufferable zone of Syracuse ground Middle Tennessee State’s magical March ride to a halt, and the No. 10 seed Orange beat the No. 15 seed Blue Raiders 75-50 on Sunday night to advance to the Sweet 16. Michael Gbinije poured in 23 points, Tyler Lydon added 14 and the Orange (21-13) used a 21-2 charge midway through the second half to crack open a close game and join five other ACC schools in advancing to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. After teetering on the bubble a week ago, they’ll play No. 11 seed Gonzaga on Friday in Chicago. The Blue Raiders (25-10), who shredded so many brackets with their upset of second-seeded Michigan State, made things tough on Syracuse for a while. They led early in the second half and still trailed just 40-39 with 16:02 to go, but proceeded to make one of their next 16 field-goal attempts. The Orange became the sixth and perhaps most unlikely of the ACC schools to advance to the Sweet 16, a record number for a single conference since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The league went 12-1 in the opening two rounds with only Pittsburgh losing. NCAA TOURNEY: FOLLOW THE MADNESS WITH OUR LIVE BRACKET Darnell Harris led Middle Tennessee State with 11 points, while Reggie Upshaw — who scored 21 points against the Spartans — was held to two on 1-for-10 shooting. Trevor Cooney got Syracuse off to a good start with three early 3s, but he was just as valuable alongside Gbinije at the top of its zone. The long, athletic guards were able to cut off the Blue Raiders before they could drive to the basket, forcing them to take a series of off-balance jumpers. Still, their trouble at the foul line allowed Middle Tennessee State to hang in the game. The Orange led just 31-27 at halftime, and the hardscrabble Blue Raiders even managed to pull ahead when Giddy Potts followed a 3-pointer by Jaqawn Raymond with one of his own out of the break. FOLLOW THE DAILY Continue Reading

Shooting at Tennessee State University kills one, wounds three others after argument over dice game: police

A gunman fatally shot one person and injured three others during a shootout over a dice game at Tennessee State University only a week after another man opened fire at a party just off campus, school officials and police said. Shots rang out on the main campus around 11 p.m. Thursday, The Tennessean reported. One or more gunmen fired multiple shots in an outdoor courtyard behind the Floyd Building after a fight over a game of craps, according to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. Police believe two males, neither of whom were enrolled at TSU, were gambling at a student get-together and exchanged fire, college spokeswoman Kelli Sharpe said in a statement early Friday. One of the men was fatally wounded, Sharpe said. The man who died was 19 years old and the gunman who shot him ran away, Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said later at a press conference.  Three female TSU students who were passing when the argument escalated were also hit, Aaron said. One of the young women didn't need to go to the hospital, and the other two received treatment for non-life threatening injuries at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  The campus went into lockdown as police investigated Friday morning, Sharpe said. No victims' names will be released until their families can be alerted. Nashville police don't yet have a description of the shooter, but investigators are hoping that witnesses who filmed the incident on the cell phones will come forward, Aaron told reporters. "The person who fired those shots put innocent persons in extreme danger in this isolated incident," Aaron said. "We're hoping that the TSU students who have this video and may have knowledge understand this person put them in danger tonight and will report what they know."  The shooting happened hours after the school celebrated Founders' Day on the anniversary of the day the university started 103 Continue Reading

Video shows Tennessee State University shooting that killed 1; students offered reassurance during hunt for gunman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - University officials and police are reassuring jittery students that they are doing everything they can to keep Tennessee State University students safe as they continue to look for the person who shot and killed a 19-year-old man during an on-campus fight. Two female students wounded in the shooting were released from Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Friday. A third female student was grazed but not hospitalized after the shooting, which happened in an outdoor courtyard on the Nashville campus during an argument over a dice game around 10:50 p.m. Thursday, Metro Nashville Police Spokesman Don Aaron said. Police have not released the students' names. Cameron Selmon, 19, of Memphis, was killed in the shooting. He was not a student at the school, Aaron said. The shooting comes just over a week after three people were wounded by gunfire at an off-campus party across the street from the university. As a temporary measure, Nashville police officers will patrol the campus on foot at night. Speaking at a Friday afternoon news conference, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and TSU President Glenda Baskin Glover said they believe the TSU campus is safe. Glover said the campus has spent $1 million in the past year to hire new police and security officers and improve fencing and lighting on the urban campus. The North Nashville neighborhood where TSU is located has largely been left out of the city's recent development boom. Mayor Barry, who took office in September, said she wants to change that by investing in and revitalizing the neighborhood. "Tennessee State University and the community that surrounds it is an incredibly important part of the fabric of our city," she said. Police continued to search for clues as to the shooter's identity Friday. Several students used their phones to record the fight. Police said they have obtained some video, but they encouraged other students who Continue Reading

Tennessee state Sen. Jim Summerville arrested for stalking, assault one month after public intoxication charge

Tennessee state Sen. Jim Summerville was arrested twice this weekend — just one month after he was arrested for public intoxication, police said. The outgoing Republican senator from Dickson, Tenn., has been charged with stalking and assault in separate incidents involving his neighbor, Lt. Todd Christian said. On Friday night, Summerville was arrested after neighbor Cecilia Donaven filed stalking charges, WSMV-TV Nashville reports. Summerville was released on bail. He was arrested again on Saturday on assault charges after allegedly leaving jail and threatening Donaven. He was released on $10,000 bond with the condition of staying away from his neighbor, WSMV-TV reported. Last month, Summerville was arrested for public intoxication for sitting and drinking in several Dickson residents' yards. "Over the past few weeks, we've been receiving several complaints from his neighbors about the harassing and stalking," Christian told the Tennessean. Donaven said she has been recording videos of incidents involving Summerville and has previously filed intimidation reports against him, according to WSMV-TV. "Every minute I'm in this house, he's watching me," Donaven said. "Every minute, he wants to see what I'm doing." Summerville has thrown toilet paper onto Donaven’s front porch and shined flashlights at people coming in and out of her house, she said. She became most concerned when Summerville allegedly held a sign facing her house that read, "Just keep it up, you've been warned." Donaven said she was prompted to call the police again after Summerville threatened her after his first release. "He picks up that 'Just keep it up, you've been warned' sign and shakes it at me with one hand and a can of mace with the other hand," Donaven told WSMV-TV. Summerville said in a statement that he intends to sue the Dickson Police Department because he is being harassed. "The City of Dickson Police Continue Reading

College Football Countdown | No. 70: Middle Tennessee State

Rather than put round pegs into square holes, Middle Tennessee State and Rick Stockstill will tailor this year's offense to its returning personnel. Take the quarterback position, for example.Recent MTSU offenses have revolved around the forward pass: Logan Kilgore, the most recent multiple-year starter, left Murfreesboro as the school's record holder in touchdown passes (53) and 200-yard games (21), ranking second on the Blue Raiders' all-time list with 7,849 passing yards.But this year's team lacks a Kilgore, essentially transitioning from a pocket-passing veteran to a handful of run-first, dual-threat quarterbacks. Again: Stockstill and offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner won't tailor quarterbacks to the offense; the offense will tailor to the quarterback.So the Blue Raiders will become more run-heavy, adding layers to a running game that lacked the balance needed to mount a credible zone-read attack. This places MTSU in direct contrast to its primary Conference USA competition, Marshall, which enters 2014 headed by one of the nation's most electrically productive passing games.It'll be power against power, merely from different viewpoints: MTSU and Marshall will meet in October with opposing styles, one devoted to the ground and the other to the air. To the winner go the spoils, as well as Conference USA's East Division.LAST YEAR'S PREDICTION: The Raiders have a number of talented options at running back and receiver; enough, in fact, that one or two potential contributors will get squeezed out of touches. The team also enters 2013 with a degree of confidence despite the disappointing way last season ended, with that loss to Arkansas State. Though five wins is a safer bet, don't be surprised if MTSU gets that sixth victory and lands bowl eligibility.2013 RECAP:In a nutshell: The shift in conference layout did little to slow MTSU's recent surge. The Blue Raiders notched another eight-win season, joining the program's final go-round in the Sun Belt Conference, Continue Reading

Tennessee state Rep. Andy Holt ‘considering’ run against Sen. Bob Corker

 U.S. Sen. Bob Corker could face a deeper primary challenge in his next bid to keep his Senate seat.Tennessee State Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, told the USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee on Wednesday that he's in the process of deciding whether to run against Corker. He said "multiple polls" have shown Corker's approval rating dwindling, and has been approached about running."I've had countless people contact me. People I respect. People with resources," Holt said. Although Congress has a whole has low approval ratings, Corker has remained relatively popular. A recent poll by Vanderbilt showed Corker had an approval rating of 52 percent, 2 points higher than Senate counterpart Lamar Alexander.  And an April 2017 poll by Morning Consult showed Corker's approval rating at 57 percent. ► More: Marsha Blackburn won't challenge Sen. Corker, will seek re-election ► More: Will Peyton Manning enter politics? Rumors fly after golf outing with Trump, Corker Holt, a tea party aligned state lawmaker, said his polling comes from the Tennessee Star, a conservative online publication, which used Triton Research Polling Inc. to conduct its poll of Republican voters.That poll asked Republicans if they were less likely to vote for Corker based on recent statements that the administration of President Donald Trump was in a "downward spiral." Fifty-five percent said they would be less likely to vote for Corker based on those statements. Almost 33 percent indicated it made no difference.Holt has been a harsh critic of Gov. Bill Haslam and other more traditional Republicans.James Mackler, a former Army helicopter pilot, Iraq war vet and Nashville attorney, announced last month he would run on the Democratic side.Larry Crim, CEO of Christian Counseling Centers of America Inc. and president of Veterans Comprehensive Network Inc., also intends to seek the Republican nominationCorker is one of the most wealthy lawmakers in Washington, Continue Reading

Tina Stewart, Middle Tennessee State University basketball player, found stabbed to death

The Middle Tennessee State University women's basketball team may forgo its shot at March Madness after a beloved teammate, Tina Stewart, was found dead in her apartment complex Tuesday night. Police said Stewart, a junior guard, was stabbed to death by her roommate Shanterrica Madden, a freshman at the school, after an argument. School administrators and students were clearly shaken as news spread across campus, according to the student newspaper MTSU Sidelines. "This is an unspeakable tragedy to one of our family members," athletic director Chris Massaro said in a statement. "Our biggest concern is with Tina and her family. The team is devastated and will work through this together." It's the second time in less than a month that the campus has been struck by violence. On Valentine's Day a 20-year-old MTSU student pulled a gun and fired a shot during a dispute with a former student. The alleged shooter, Justin Macklin, is facing a number of felony charges and his trial is set to begin next month.Blue Raiders. The team, which is set to begin the Sun Belt Conference's postseason tournament play as the top seed on Sunday, is unsure whether it will take the court. "This is a coach's nightmare," Rick Insell, the women's hoops coach, told the student paper. "My only concern right now is with Tina, her family and her teammates." The 5-foot-7 junior was remembered by her high school coach as "a great kid who lights up the room," according to USA Today. "Just a tough kid who perseveres," Niki Bray told the paper. "She would get to smiling and carrying on and get everyone in a good mood." The team won't be the first to be dealing with a slain teammate heading into what should be the brightest part of its season. Last spring, Virginia women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love was murdered, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Suspect nabbed in shooting at Middle Tennessee State University; allegedly stashed 2 pounds of pot

Police in Tennessee nabbed a suspect they believe shot a man in the middle of a college campus, ending what was a dramatic incident at Middle Tennessee State University Monday. The drama began when 20-year-old student Justin Macklin allegedly shot Austin Morrow, a former MTSU student in the hand during an argument. Police said the two had had problems in the past. Morrow was not seriously injured, but the shooting caused a quick panic across campus. The area near the shooting was put on lockdown and everyone at the university was advised to stay inside while SWAT teams and U.S. Marshals swarmed the campus in search of the suspect. "I was headed to Subway to get a sandwich and there was a slight argument between a taller black fellow wearing a plaid shirt and khaki jeans and what sounded like a juvenile in high school. Then I heard a shot behind me," one witness told Sky5 News. "There were hundreds of students around so I thought if there was a shot, that he had shot in the air." Police said that Macklin ditched the gun and two pounds of marijuana in a campus building. Once the weapon was found, police issued an all-clear and classes resumed. Students received a text message about the incident from campus police immediately after the shooting. Once the message came through, Jamie Smith, a 20-year-old pre-dental major, told the Associated Press, students ran to see what happened. "Everyone just started running toward the windows," she said. With News Wire Services Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Siding with local district, Tennessee State Board denies two Memphis charter schools appeals

 On Friday, the nine-member Tennessee State Board of Education unanimously rejected the appeals of two charters that sought to open all-girls schools in Memphis next fall. The charter applicants will now have to wait until next year and reapply with Shelby County Schools, which had rejected their applications this year, if they so choose.The decision on Friday stands in contrast to the state board’s dramatic overruling of the local board last year that resulted in the first charter school authorization by the panel in Memphis. That essentially added another state-run district in the city, and the State Board of Education joins just one other state in the nation to also operate as a school district.The board acted in accordance this year with recommendation from Sara Morrison, the executive director of the State Board of Education, in the denial of appeals by The Academy All Girls Charter School and Rich ED Academy of Leaders.The vote comes a month after the Shelby County Schools board turned down their applications,  along with nine others. After a charter applicant is denied by the local school district, they can appeal to the State Board of Education and be re-reviewed by a six person committee.Morrison told board members that both charter applicants failed to meet requirements in their plans for school finances (Her analysis specified that one of the schools relied too heavily on philanthropic donations).She added that the applications did not fully meet standards in the other two categories measured: operations and academics. Board members accepted her recommendations on Friday without questions.  Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools. Continue Reading