JMU March Madness Watch Parties 

Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications

By Bennett Conlin

JMU men’s basketball plays an NCAA Tournament game Friday! Whether you’re a casual fan or you’re a die-hard Dukes supporter, it’s a must-watch game.

The easiest way (although not the cheapest) to watch JMU’s first-round matchup? Go to Brooklyn! Tickets are available for the evening session at the Barclays Center, and while they’re not cheap, they include access to the Duke-Vermont game before JMU’s 9:40 p.m. tip off against Wisconsin. 

If you don’t attend the JMU-Wisconsin game, the game will air on CBS. It’s plenty easy to watch the showdown.

There will NOT be a first-round watch party at the Atlantic Union Bank Center, according to a JMU athletics spokesperson. It’s possible there could be future watch parties at the AUBC, should JMU make the Sweet 16 or Elite Eight. That’s a long way away, though.

In the meantime, there are a bunch of JMU Alumni Association watch parties at bars and restaurants across the country scheduled for Friday night. Several JMU alumni chapters are hosting the parties, and a full list of watch parties and locations can be found here.

We’ve gathered a roundup of some of those major watch parties on the East Coast. 

Editor’s note: Thanks to Three Notch’d Brewing for their advertising support this basketball season.

New York

Black Forest Brooklyn, Brooklyn – If you’re in New York but don’t have tickets to the game, there’s a watch party in Brooklyn. Black Forest’s watch party starts at 7 p.m. ET, and the location even features a projection screen. There are plenty of drink and food options, as it looks like the NYC Dukes Chapter found a great spot to watch a game. 

There will also be a Duke Club event at his location at 5 p.m. You can register for that event here


Spider Kelly’s, Arlington – The Northern Virginia bar is no stranger to hosting JMU watch parties. The spot is always open late – a bonus for a game that could end after midnight – and it should offer an enjoyable spot to spend a Friday night watching JMU battle a Big Ten team. Of the Virginia watch parties, this looks like the most casual. 

Rai’s Rendezvous, Ashburn – Good food and fun cocktails headline reasons to go to Rai’s Rendezvous. This location also hosts a weekly Friday Night Pong Night, so you can work on your shooting form while watching the Dukes drain 3s.

Mackenzie’s Tunes and Tonics, Fairfax – I’m a sucker for good cocktails, so this location might steal my heart. If you like whiskey, the options here are enticing. 

Annie Ruth’s Wine Bar and Bistro, Midlothian – Another Virginia spot with a damn impressive menu of cocktails and food. 

North Carolina

Duckworths – South Park, Charlotte – “The Charlotte Dukes will cheer on the Dukes from afar, but our impact will be felt,” Jack Fizpatrick, JMUSN co-founder, tells me about this watch party. Jack assures me the Charlotte Dukes always have a good time and are extremely welcoming to new alumni visitors. 

CharBar No. 7, Greensboro – The restaurant’s home page lists “Burger, Steak, Bar” in all caps. Enough said.

Carolina Ale House, Raleigh – I wish I lived in Raleigh. This place looks like an ideal spot to watch a game for any beer lover.

There will also be registered JMU Alumni Association watch parties in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, and Texas. More details on those events can be found here.

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