NCAA Tournament: Students plan to head downtown for Friday game

Mikala Lugen

After a win against The University of Akron in the Mid-American Conference Championship game, Kent State students and community members are geared up to watch the men’s basketball team play in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament against UCLA in Sacramento.

As round one of the tournament lands on St. Patrick’s Day, Kent State is excited to cheer on the Flashes.

The game will begin at 10 p.m., right at the peak of celebration time for students to watch the game at restaurants and bars around town.

Panini’s Bar & Grill is planning on hosting at least 300 people dressed in green to cheer on the team Friday night. It is also offering $4 for a glass of green Labatt, Coors and Conway’s beer.

“We are very excited to celebrate the Irish holiday and the Flashes playing in the NCAA Tournament tonight,” said Gary Bauer, owner of Panini’s. “We are expecting huge crowds to come drink some beer and watch the game.”

Buffalo Wild Wings will offer $5 off a meal to everyone in the restaurant if the game goes into overtime. The staff is expecting a flush of college students to come in for a meal and cheer on the Flashes for the first round.

“My boyfriend and I are going to grab dinner downtown and watch the tournament with our friends,” said Allison Leon, a sophomore psychology major. “We always do this to cheer on the guys for their away games.”

Twisted Meltz, Mike’s Place, The Loft, Bar 145, Water Street Tavern and Ray’s Place will also have the game on on Friday night to support the Flashes.

“Once I get out of work at 10 p.m., I’m heading downtown with my buddies to watch the game,” said Chris Hunt, a senior integrated science major. “It’s (going to) be crazy with everyone celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and watching the first round of the tournament.”

Mikala Lugen is the student finance reporter, contact her at [email protected]