California-based alumni plan for March Madness festivities

Miranda Kiner

Members of San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California Kent State Alumni chapters are preparing for the Flashes to take on the UCLA Bruins Friday night.

Kyle Hughes, a 2011 Kent State graduate and a board member of the chapter, plans on attending the game and the pregame reception organized by Kent State University Alumni Association.

“Folks like myself, who are involved in the Alumni Association or maybe sit on the board for the bay area out here, we’re particularly excited,” Hughes said. “If you have people who just generally don’t care, then they probably won’t be. But I think excitement’s pretty high for the people who decide to pay attention.”

Hughes said he has kept up with Kent State sports teams since he graduated.

“I follow them as close as I can,” he said. “I’ve always paid a little bit more attention to the basketball team just because it’s probably our best sport.”

Keith Meller, a member of the Southern California Alumni Chapters and 1979 graduate, said he plans on watching the game at home or at a watch party in the area.

“Occasionally we’ll have viewing parties with the alumni,” Meller said. “Out here, we have sort of a geographical problem because everybody lives so far away from one another that it’s hard to sort of get together and do things because we’re so far apart.”

Meller said it’s exciting to see Kent State in the NCAA Tournament and thinks it will be fun to go out on Friday, talking with fans from both teams.

Sacramento is roughly an 80-minute drive from the Bay area, which makes it convenient for fans like Hughes to attend the game.

“If they win on Friday, then I believe they play on Sunday and as long as I could score some tickets, then I’d probably make a trip up there for Sunday,” Hughes said.

Miranda Kiner is the alumni reporter, contact her at [email protected].