Mountaineer fans following the West Virginia University mens basketball team to Minneapolis for the NCAA Tournament are invited to a pep rally and networking reception Friday (March 20).

The WVU Alumni Association, Mountaineer Athletic Club and WVU Foundations University Fund will host the rally and reception from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. CT at the Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis (35 South 7th St.).

The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature appearances by the Mountaineer mascot, cheerleaders and WVU Pep Band, as well as limited complimentary snacks and cash bar.

The Mountaineers have accomplished a great deal this year,said Stephen Douglas, president and chief executive officer of the WVU Alumni Association.Coach Bob Huggins and the team deserve nothing less than to have an excited group of alumni, friends and fans behind them at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. We look forward to providing a venue for loyal Mountaineers to network with each other in support of our amazing coaches and players.

Fans interested in learning more about travel opportunities to the tournament should visit or call 1-800-924-9993.

Hundreds of WVU alumni and friends are expected to be on hand for Fridays first-round game against the Dayton Flyers. Tip-off is scheduled at approximately 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. CT).

The WVU Alumni Association, chartered in 1873, represents more than 170,000 University graduates residing in every county in West Virginia, every state in the nation and about 60 other countries. With nearly 100 registered chapters and constituent groups, the associations 28,000 dues-paying members support Homecoming weekend, the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni, the Loyalty Permanent Endowment Fund and dozens of other social and philanthropic programs. For more information, visit .