Final Four fans attend watch parties, pep rallies on Final Four Saturday

Thousands of fans came to Minneapolis to watch their favorite team play in the Final Four at U.S. Bank Stadium, but for those who didn’t get in, the party is just as fun elsewhere in the city.

Saturday, fans of Texas Tech, Michigan State, Auburn and Virginia gathered for pep rallies at Nicollet Mall and all over the city to join with other like-minded fans in cheering on their teams.

Watch parties featured live music, more pep rallies and, of course, the games on television as fans relished the chance to celebrate in Minneapolis while the games were going on.

No matter the result, Final Four fans had plenty of chances to party Saturday.

For Texas Tech fans, their first Final Four is plenty to celebrate. 

"This is an amazing thing because we've never been here before," said Cray Pickering. "This is something we've looked forward to for 95 years, so it's time. It's our turn."

Even former Texas Tech athletes were reveling in the moment. NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes was at the stadium, but former Texas Tech QB BJ Symons attended the viewing party. 

"We love our school," Symons said. "We're proud to represent our school the university and wear the red and black and it doesn't get much better than this." 

For green and white-clad Michigan State fans, the Final Four is old hat, but fans are excited nonetheless. 

"This team was not the one anyone expected to win, but the resilience is there and it's exciting to finally see there is hope," said Lauren Jackson, a Michigan State fan. 

The party isn’t over for two fan bases, either. More festivities are planned for Sunday and during Monday’s National Championship game.