By Zachary Baru
For the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team, tonight's exhibition against American International College is more than just a chance to get some practice before the season tips off on November 19. Thursday's exhibition will be a chance for the community to enjoy free basketball, and the opportunity to continue including another local college into the schedule.
American International is no stranger to the Mullins Center, as the relationship with AIC has become somewhat of a tradition, bringing the Yellow Jackets to Amherst for yet another exhibition game. Partnering up with a local team like AIC reaffirms UMass basketball's emphasis on including the entire region in the schedule, in addition to UMass' appearance in Springfield later this year.
UMass will be participating in the Basketball Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase, an event that keeps division I college basketball at the MassMutual Center following the absence of the Tip-Off Classic. UMass plays Florida Gulf Coast at the MassMutual Center on December 7.
Tonight's game at the Mullins Center begins at 7 p.m., there is no radio broadcast. Last year's exhibition with American International drew 2,932 fans to the Mullins Center. With the success of the 2013-14 UMass men's basketball team and their NCAA tournament appearance, tonight's attendance could be significantly higher.
Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.