App State fans revel in opportunity to watch March Madness together

App State fans watch team try to get into the madness

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Dozens of Appalachian State Mountaineers fans gathered to watch Thursday night’s basketball game at Angry Ale’s on Montford Drive in south Charlotte.

With the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, the return of the tournament in 2021 has been a welcome occasion for fans. WBTV spoke to several App State fans outside of Angry Ale’s prior to Thursday night’s contest between App State and Norfolk State.

App States alum Hannah Walle and her friends were excited to be able to cheer on the Mountaineers together.

“(I’m) so excited, and we’re gonna win. App is gonna do awesome,” said Walle in an interview prior to Thursday’s game.

Jay Bartoli, a student at App State, said he was just in Charlotte for a visit. He explained that the locals in Boone are thrilled for the basketball team.

“It’s a really cool thing for Boone. Everyone there is really excited,” said Bartoli.

App State has been known as a football school in recent years. The Mountaineers football program has won six straight bowl games, but fans said they were intrigued by the opportunity to pull for their school on a big stage in a different sport.

“I think we’re gonna be good at both this year. That’s my expert prediction,” said Madeline Kirby, another App State alum.

Angry Ale’s still requires employees to wear masks and a sign at the front door of the business encourages customers to do the same. Some tables inside of the bar are still being kept empty for social distancing purposes. Fans told WBTV they were just happy to be able to watch games together again.

“There’s a lot of App State alums in Charlotte and we haven’t really been able to see them over the last year so it’s good to be out and seeing everybody again,” said Derek McCann, another App State alum.

Unfortunately, App State fell to Norfolk State in Thursday night’s game. The loss means the season for Appalachian State’s men’s basketball team is officially over. The team finished the season with a 17-12 record.

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