NCAA Travel Championship: Lexington vs. Lawrence

As 2 of the most storied programs in college basketball square off for a chance to call themselves national champions, check out the historic sites and scenery that Kentucky and Kansas call their own.

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Rupp Arena
Rupp Arena

Rupp Arena

Rupp Arena - University of Kentucky
Named after legendary head coach Adolph Rupp, Rupp Arena in downtown Lexington, KY, has definitely seen its share of victories. The University of Kentucky Wildcats own the record for the most wins in Division I men's college basketball history, and play in the largest basketball arena in the US. With arguably the most passionate fans in college basketball and more than 23,500 seats, they don't get more wild then Rupp Arena and the fans of Big Blue Nation.
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Carrier Dome

Carrier Dome

Carrier Dome - Syracuse University
The Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY, has to pull double duty as it plays host to 2 of Syracuse University's major men's sports programs. The football program plays in the 49,250-seat stadium, but the Orangemen are known for their excellence on the basketball court. With such a massive stadium, the basketball fans are large in numbers and as loud as can be, making the Carrier Dome one of the toughest places for any opponent.
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Flicker - John Marino  

Allen Fieldhouse

Allen Fieldhouse

Phog Allen Fieldhouse - University of Kansas
You can find tradition nearly everywhere inside Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, KS. Need proof? The Kansas Jayhawks play their home games on James Naismith Court, the inventor of basketball. With the second most wins in men's college basketball history, Rock Chalk Nation cheers loud but chants even louder.
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Bud Walton Arena

Bud Walton Arena

Bud Walton Arena - University of Arkansas
The "Basketball Palace of Mid-America" resides in Fayetteville, AR, and is home to the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. One of the newer stadiums on our list, Bud Walton Arena was constructed in 1993. Its history was cemented in the arena's inaugural season as the men's team won the national championship.
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University Arena

University Arena

University Arena - University of New Mexico
The Pit, formerly known as University Arena, is one of the loudest arenas in all of college basketball. You can hear the 15,000-plus fans howling, as the University of New Mexico Lobos duke it out on Bob King Court in Albuquerque, NM.
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Wikimedia - PerryPlanet  

Gallagher IBA Arena

Gallagher IBA Arena

Gallagher-IBA Arena - Oklahoma State University
Located in Stillwater, OK, Gallagher-Iba Arena is home to Oklahoma State's Cowboys. Built in 1938, Gallagher-Iba Arena still has its original maple floors, and is known by many as "The Rowdiest Arena in the Country."
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OSU Marketing - Phil Shockley  

Memorial Gym

Memorial Gym

Memorial Gym - Vanderbilt University
Probably the most unique stadium in all of college basketball belongs to Vanderbilt University. Memorial Gym in Nashville, TN, features the team benches on opposite ends rather than sides, along with a cinematic, triple-deck structure. Memorial Gym is said to give the Commodores home court advantage because of its unusual design, making it one of the most difficult places for opposing teams to come away with a win.
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Maples Pavilion

Maples Pavilion

Maples Pavilion - Stanford University
Known for the Sixth Man, the raucous student section of Cardinal fans, Maples Pavilion has become one of the most notorious venues on the West Coast. With fans sitting just inches from the court, opposing teams face a difficult task every time they travel to Stanford, CA.
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Standford Athletics  

Pauley Pavilion

Pauley Pavilion

Pauley Pavilion - University of California Los Angeles
When it comes to Los Angeles basketball, most people think of the Lakers. But rivaling the recent success in their home stadium, the Staples Center, is Pauley Pavilion, the home of the UCLA Bruins. LA is known for its flash, and in classic LA fashion, Pauley Pavilion has seen its share of superstars. With the "Wizard of Westwood" John Wooden coaching such legends as Lew Alcinder (aka Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Bill Walton, and owning the most national championships in men's college basketball history, it's clear why the Pavilion made our sweet 16.
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Cameron Indoor Stadium

Cameron Indoor Stadium

Cameron Indoor Stadium - Duke University
One of the most historic basketball venues in the country also happens to be one of the smallest. Home of the Duke Blue Devils, and only seating 9,314, Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, NC, is known as one of the most electric stadiums in all of basketball. There have been many legendary coaches in college basketball but perhaps none more than the court's namesake, Mike Krzyzewski, or as he's known by most fans, simply "Coach K."
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Smith Spectrum

Smith Spectrum

Smith Spectrum - Utah State University
If you're trying to concentrate, the Smith Spectrum, home of the Utah State Aggies, is the last place you want to be. Over the past decade, the spectrum has gained a reputation as one of the toughest venues for opposing teams due to its disturbingly loud student section. Located in Logan, UT, the Smith Spectrum has a seating capacity of 10,270.
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USU Public Relations & Marketing  

The Palestra

The Palestra

The Palestra - University of Pennsylvania
When you think of top college basketball venues, you think of the big programs that have been dominant for decades. But the "Cathedral of College Basketball" belongs to the Quakers of the University of Pennsylvania. Located in Philadelphia, the Palestra opened in 1927 and has a capacity of 8,722.
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Penn Athletics  

The Dean Dome

The Dean Dome

The Dean Dome - University of North Carolina
Just down "Tobacco Road" from Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) rival Duke University, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels play their home games in Chapel Hill, NC, at the Smith Center, better known as the Dean Dome. With jerseys once worn by the likes of Michael Jordan, James Worthy and Bob McAdoo hanging from the rafters, there's no doubt that the Dean Dome is one of the most historic venues in all of college basketball.
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Hinkle Fieldhouse - Butler University
Home to the Butler Bulldogs men's basketball team, Hinkle Fieldhouse, which was built in 1928 and renamed in 1966 after Paul D. Hinkle, is one of the oldest college basketball stadiums still in use. The fieldhouse is also a US national historic landmark.
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Brent Smith / Butler University  

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Assembly Hall

Assembly Hall

Assembly Hall - Indiana University
The Hoosiers may have been up and down on the court for the past decade, but that can’t erase their incredible history in Assembly Hall. Over an 11-year span from 1976 to 1987, legendary coach Bob Knight led the Hoosiers to 3 national championships, including a perfect season in '76. And who can forget the moment Bob lost his temper and hurled a chair across the court against Purdue in '85? Moments like these, good and bad, have created a special environment for Hoosier fans in Bloomington, IN.
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IU Athletics  

Syracuse University
Syracuse University - Syracuse, NY

Syracuse University - Syracuse, NY

A triangle-shaped park, Hanover Square was the first commercial district in Syracuse, NY, and comprises 17 historic buildings. Now the setting for many cultural gatherings and live music, the square was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. 960 1280

Wainwright Photo  

Syracuse University - Buffalo Wings

Syracuse University - Buffalo Wings

In a state like New York — known for their iconic pizza — it’s hard to imagine another food breaking the cycle and taking over the top spot of most iconic food. With that being said, Buffalo wings may have originated down the road, but they’ve slowly made their way down I-90 from Buffalo to Syracuse, to make a serious push to the top that list, in the hometown of the Orangemen. 960 1280

Stuart West / Getty Images  

University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ

University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ

In Tucson, AZ, the university's athletics teams were nicknamed the "wildcats" after the LA Times praised Arizona for showing "the fight of wildcats" in a 1914 football game against Occidental College. The image stuck as the school's official mascot. 960 1280

Huperphuff - Wikimedia Commons  

University of Arizona - Sonoran Hot Dog

University of Arizona - Sonoran Hot Dog

"Bear Down" on the Sonoran hot dog, a staple on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson. Wrapped in bacon and topped with beans, onions, tomatoes, mayonnaise and more, this one-of-a-kind dog is sure to make your taste buds jump for joy. 960 1280

  

University of Kentucky - Lexington, KY

University of Kentucky - Lexington, KY

Surrounded by bars and restaurants serving up the finest bourbon in the world and plastered in UK apparel and keepsakes, downtown Lexington, KY, is one of, if not the, premiere college basketball town in America. Being the winningest program in NCAA history has its perks, and Big Blue Nation never lets you forget that. 960 1280

Arpad Benedek / Getty Images  

University of Kentucky - Burgoo and Bourbon

University of Kentucky - Burgoo and Bourbon

Kentucky Burgoo, a stew typically made with 3 or more different kinds of meat and assorted vegetables like okra, lima beans and corn, has been a staple in Lexington for over 150 years. However, it doesn’t seem right to have anything else representing the state of Kentucky in the food and beverage debate other than bourbon. So, we’ve combined the two for a delicious burgoo and bourbon tailgate party. 960 1280

Richard Cummins / Getty Images  

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC

Considered the social hub for university students, Franklin Street was named after Ben Franklin and has been in use since the university's construction began in the 1790s. The street is celebrated for its festivals, nightlife and myriad of shops.  960 1280

Caroline Culler - Wikimedia Commons  

University of North Carolina - Pulled Pork Sandwich

University of North Carolina - Pulled Pork Sandwich

On Tobacco Road, it’s a never ending blue-blood battle when it comes to basketball, and the same can be said for their barbecue. When you’re heading to Chapel Hill, NC, for a game, make sure to try a slow-smoked, hickory-wood flavored pulled pork sandwich. They may be the best in the south! 960 1280

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Marquette University - Milwaukee, WI

Marquette University - Milwaukee, WI

The largest private university in Wisconsin (and one of the largest Jesuit universities in the country), Marquette is located 1 mile from Lake Michigan, and is responsible for Milwaukee's reputation as one of America's great college basketball towns. 960 1280

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Marquette University - Bratwurst

Marquette University - Bratwurst

It’s hard to imagine heading to America’s Dairyland and not having cheese as the top choice, but when it comes to tailgating in Milwaukee, one dish reigns supreme — the bratwurst. Pair your brat with a delicious local beer and your well on your way to an epic tailgate. 960 1280

Envision / Getty Images  

University of Texas - Austin, TX

University of Texas - Austin, TX

With more students than any other college in Texas, the University of Texas at Austin has been recognized as "America's Best Sports College" by Sports Illustrated. The Texas Longhorns have long been revered as a powerful football team. In recent years, their men's basketball team has also made their name among the elite. 960 1280

Kumar Appaiah - flickr  

University of Texas - BBQ Brisket

University of Texas - BBQ Brisket

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that saying holds true when it comes to the local barbecue. If seasoned and cooked correctly (which should generally take about 12 hours in a smoker), the Texas-style barbecued brisket found in Austin is some of the most tender and juicy in the entire country. 960 1280

Alexandra Grablewski / Getty Images  

Indiana University - Bloomington, IN

Indiana University - Bloomington, IN

Located in the heart of Bloomington, IN, Kirkwood Avenue is lined with bars, shops and restaurants. It was named for astronomer Daniel Kirkwood in 1895, whose observatory can be seen from the avenue.  960 1280

Visit Bloomington  

Indiana University - Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie

Indiana University - Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie

Oh my, sweet sugar cream pie. Filled with vanilla-flavored cream and baked to perfection, no trip to Hoosier country is complete without a taste of the state’s rich, custard pie. 960 1280
Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN

Located a little more than a mile from downtown Nashville, Vanderbilt University started calling its sports teams the "Commodores" or the "'Dores" after the university's namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt, who made his fortune in shipping.  960 1280

Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau  

Vanderbilt University - Hot Chicken

Vanderbilt University - Hot Chicken

This dish may look like your average fried chicken, but we promise this Nashville specialty is unlike any other around the country. Dipped in a heavily-marinated paste that has been doused with cayenne pepper, this spicy treat is a must-try when marching through Commodore nation. 960 1280

Boston Globe / Getty Images  

Ohio State University - Columbus, OH

Ohio State University - Columbus, OH

South Campus Gateway is a hub of entertainment in Columbus, OH. Considered the Main Street of Columbus, it is frequented by university students and neighborhood residents alike because of its many shops and restaurants. 960 1280

Analogue Kid - Wikimedia Commons  

Ohio State University - Buckeye Donuuts

Ohio State University - Buckeye Donuuts

Columbus, OH, may be considered the fast food capital of America, but on game days, it’s not fast food leaving it’s footprint on tailgating scene, it’s the delicious Buckeye donut. This chocolate donut with a peanut butter center is named after its resemblance to the buckeye nut and is the perfect way to end your tailgate with a bang. 960 1280
Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Georgetown University - Washington, DC

In Washington, DC, M Street is part of a major shopping district in the Georgetown neighborhood. Georgetown University is the oldest Jesuit and Catholic university in the US. To this day, no one is quite sure why the university's team is called the "Hoyas." 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Georgetown University - Half-Smoke

Georgetown University - Half-Smoke

This smoked, half-pork / half-beef sausage, is a specialty localized to the Washington D.C. area. Spiced with herbs, topped with onions and smothered in chili sauce, the half-smoke is a local favorite of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. 960 1280

Jon Hicks / Getty Images  

Duke University - Durham, NC

Duke University - Durham, NC

The American Tobacco skyline is home to Duke University, which changed its name to Duke in 1924 for tobacco industrialist James B. Duke. Durham, NC, embraces college basketball with fervor, selling out every men's home basketball game. 960 1280

Chris Barron - Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau  

Duke University - Hush Puppies

Duke University - Hush Puppies

Separated by just 8 miles from "that other school" in Chapel Hill, Durham — the home of Duke University — also specializes in the barbecue game. However, there is one tasty, deep-fried side treat found in bbq joints across Durham that can rival it’s deliciousness: the small cornmeal cakes known as hush puppies. 960 1280

Iain Bagwell / Getty Images  

Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI

Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI

The pride of East Lansing, MI, Michigan State University is not only home to a championship-winning men's basketball team, but it is also considered one of the country's "public Ivies." Meanwhile, Grand River Avenue is the hub of shopping and entertainment at the university. 960 1280

David Shane - flickr  

Michigan State University - Pasty

Michigan State University - Pasty

A favorite of Sparty, students in East Lansing and Michiganders far and wide, this delightful pie-crust turnover, stuffed with assorted seasoned meats and potatoes, can be found all over the the northern part of the state. 960 1280
University of Kansas - Lawrence, KS

University of Kansas - Lawrence, KS

The home of the University of Kansas, downtown Lawrence, KS, is full of culture. It's home to an annual film festival, as well as a festival for buskers, or street performers. Lawrence is also filled with history; it  was named one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's "most distinctive destinations." 960 1280

Lawrence Convention & Visitors Bureau  

University of Kansas - Kansas-Style Ribs

University of Kansas - Kansas-Style Ribs

Smothered in a dry rub consisting of brown sugar, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, paprika and garlic powder, these slabs of spare ribs are a must-try on any trip to land of the Jayhawks. 960 1280

ramonailumuscom / Getty Images  

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