Watch Parties, Pre-Game Pep Rally in Raleigh Planned for Minutemen Basketball NCAA Tournament Appearance

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst Alumni Association has announced a number of regional “watch parties” across the country where UMass alumni and fans will be able to come together to watch the Minutemen basketball team tip-off their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998, as well as events in Raleigh, N.C., for fans making the trip to cheer the team on in-person.

For fans heading to Raleigh for the Midwest Regional games, an open practice will be held at PNC Arena at 2:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 20. Fans will be able to watch Coach Derek Kellogg and his staff run the team through its drills, and show their support to the players and coaches as they familiarize themselves with the arena and prepare for the big game.

After the practice, a pep rally and welcome reception for the team will be hosted at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel at 5:30 p.m. Fans, family, friends and alumni will join the UMass cheerleaders and the Hoop Band to fire up the team for the next day’s action.

On Friday, March 21, fans will gather at restaurants and taverns in Amherst, Boston, New York, Cape Cod, Denver and San Francisco to watch the game together on CBS. Information and locations for each event can be found below, and tip-off for the game is scheduled for 2:45 p.m.

All of these events are free, but fans planning to attend the pep rally in Raleigh or the watch parties around the country are asked to register in advance on the Alumni Association’s website. More information about these and any additional events will also be posted on the site as they are developed.

Fans and alumni who have any questions, or who may want to organize watch parties in their area, are asked to contact the Alumni Association at 800-456-UMASS or


Minutemen NCAA Tournament Watch Parties (all times local)


Pioneer Valley Alumni Network

Amherst Brewing Company

2 p.m.

10 University Drive

Amherst, Mass.


Greater Boston Alumni Network

The Point

2 p.m.

147 Hanover Street

Boston, Mass.


New York Metro Alumni Network

Professor Thom’s

1:30 p.m.

219 2nd Avenue

New York, N.Y.


Cape Cod Alumni Network

2:30 p.m.

Red Faced Jacks

585 Main Street

West Yarmouth, Mass.


Denver Alumni Network

12:30 p.m.

Highland Tap and Burger

2219 W 32nd Avenue

Denver, Colo.


Bay Area Network

11:30 a.m.

Thirsty Bear Brewing Co.

661 Howard Street

San Francisco, Calif.


Events in Raleigh, NC on Thursday, March 20

Open Practice Viewing

2:15 p.m.

PNC Arena

1400 Edwards Mill Rd

Raleigh, N.C.


Pep Rally and Welcome Reception

5:30 p.m.

Sheraton Raleigh Hotel

421 South Sailsbury Street

Raleigh, N.C.