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Originally published June 23, 2008 at 05:07p.m., updated June 23, 2008 at 11:48p.m.

ESPN names Lawrence a ‘TitleTown USA’ finalist

TV segment to be taped at Allen Fieldhouse on Friday

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ESPN visit

As part of being a finalist in ESPN's "TitleTown USA" competition, Lawrence is playing host to the sports network Friday. A segment will be filmed at Allen Fieldhouse. The event is free and open to the public.

¢ Doors open at 8 a.m.

¢ Filming begins at 9 a.m. and will conclude by 10 a.m.

¢ Parking is available in Lot 90 on Naismith Drive, across the street from the fieldhouse.

¢ Men's basketball coach Bill Self and several KU basketball players will attend the filming.

To see which cities Lawrence is up against in the "TitleTown USA" competition, visit http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/titletown/index.

Feature

Self-made Champions

The Lawrence Journal-World looks back at the men's basketball season of 2007-2008, in which the Jayhawks claimed the NCAA championship title for the first time in 20 years and its third ever.

Can Lawrence compete with the likes of Boston, Los Angeles and Detroit?

What about Ann Arbor, Mich., Williamsport, Pa., and Valdosta, Ga.?

ESPN thinks it can, and to prove it, the sports network today named Lawrence a finalist in its "TitleTown USA" competition, which seeks to name the country's top championship city.

With the success of Kansas University's national champion men's basketball team and Orange Bowl-winning football team, Lawrence may well end up triumphing over cities like Boston, which saw its Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots make it to their respective leagues' finals.

ESPN will film a segment at Allen Fieldhouse on Friday, beginning at 9 a.m. It is open to the public. Doors to the event open at 8 a.m., and it will conclude at 10 a.m. Fans should park in Lot 90, across Naismith Drive from the fieldhouse.

Men's basketball coach Bill Self and several players from KU's national championship squad will attend the taping.

Jim Marchiony, KU's associate athletic director, said he hopes for a similar atmosphere as when ESPN's College GameDay program filmed at the fieldhouse in March.

"We're expecting a lot of fans there," he said. "We're one of only 20 cities around the country, so I think our fans will be excited about that."

KU's athletic prowess puts it in some pretty tough company. But Lawrencians are confident that the Jayhawks will trump any Red Wings, Gators or Buckeyes.

Natalie Ciaccio, 30, said the celebration that ensued after KU beat Memphis to take home the national championship was indicative of why Lawrence stands above its competition.

"I've been to Boston and I've partied in New York, and that party (on Massachusetts Street) was a blast," she said.

Matt Needham suggested taking a look at the hundreds of photos of Massachusetts Street celebrations that he keeps on his Web site.

"I think they would know" why Lawrence deserves the title, he said.

But Ciaccio and Isaiah Singer, 18, think Lawrence deserves the title as much for its community as for KU's athletic success.

"I'd ask them if the whole community of Boston is walking around wearing jerseys like me," said Singer, who was wearing a KU basketball jersey.

"You're totally surrounded by people that live and breathe KU," Ciaccio said. "The whole community centers around KU."

Troy Sonderland, 26, a 2005 KU graduate, had a simple message for fans voting for other cities: "Bring it."

Ultimately, it will be up to fans' online votes to crown "TitleTown USA."

Marchiony said that's where the KU spirit needs to come through.

"We just have to show that spirit that we all know exists in Lawrence, and make sure that our fans and all of their friends vote," he said.

Comments

sevenyearhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

I guess I know where I'll be Friday morning ...that's the great thing about having bosses that are Kansas fans, they'll want to come with me! :D

sdoyel 8 years, 9 months ago

Didn't Lawrence High win the state championship in basketball this year also?

Hawklin 8 years, 9 months ago

I think its more than this year seeing some of the finalists. Taking home better than 50% of the Conference titles is tougher than a NC.

DSommersby 8 years, 9 months ago

Rock Chalk Champions! Rock on Hawks! Football, Basketball, and Beyond!!!

Nutflush21 8 years, 9 months ago

sdoyel- I think they made the title game, but got shallacked by Wichita SE.

JJHawq 8 years, 9 months ago

This might be tought to take from Boston...

LAJayhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

Clearly if they are putting Michigan in there, they are looking at more than just the "big money" sports. I don't know how the Wolverines did in "non-revenue" events, but certainly basketball and football were not their high points last year.

JayViking 8 years, 9 months ago

LAJayhawk, I think they are including Ann Arbor not because of recent performance, but because of its history.

William James 8 years, 9 months ago

The big game to open up the 2007-2008 year of college athletics was Appalachian State going to Ann Arbor and beating Michigan. Folks, whatever town Appalachian State is in should be one of the finalist, not Ann Arbor.

the_crowd_goes_wild 8 years, 9 months ago

It would be interesting to know an exact total of state titles (both team and individual) that Lawrence High has. According to a wikipedia page [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_High_School_(Kansas)] the school is home to 104 state titles. Not sure if that includes individual titles (or if the tally is technically true). Either way, LHS has a lot of state titles.And Free State has earned a few, most notably the 2006 baseball title after having been to the state tournament for several years leading up to it.And speaking of state titles in baseball, the Lawrence Raiders (American Legion summer team) won four straight championships from 2003-2006 - not sure how many before that. In 2006, they actually advanced all the way to the American Legion World Series.So while a lot of people outside the Midwest only come up with KU when thinking about championships in Lawrence, the town's high school talent also produces a large quantity of champions.

peter56321 8 years, 9 months ago

BC, It looks like we haven't been officially announced yet.

mlbowers 8 years, 9 months ago

fabio, appalachian state is in boone, nc. it has about 16k students and is located in the appalachian mountains between asheville, nc and blacksburg, va. nice area, but the campus is nothing compared to ku. it would mean a lot to top off the year with "title town." i live in nc and feel that we are always under the thumb of unc and duke b/c of the media. any body know what is going on with the twins? hadn't heard anything in a while. does this mean that we are unable to fill their positions and that they can not come to ku if they are academically unqualified?

sevenyearhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, Appalachian State demonstrated just how "awesome" the Big Ten is ...

pmohr13 8 years, 9 months ago

i believe lawrence high won girls and boys state basketball

Tim Orel 8 years, 9 months ago

cvillain - did you see the #14 team is the Jayhawks? Of Jeannette, PA. Happy Jayhawk logo without the KU.As a LHS grad, I kinda keep wishing they'd never broken up the high school - sure it would be the largest in the state and the city is big enough for two, but still, when I was there, Bill Freeman was regularly winning titles.

LAJayhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

JayViking-I don't know anything about the contest, is it not a year by year thing then? What's the specifics? I suppose I could look it up on ESPN, but I'm a little lazy......

sdoyel 8 years, 9 months ago

My guesses for the final cities:BostonNew YorkGreen BayHey, ESPN has to throw one city not on the East Coast in there....

quigley 8 years, 9 months ago

It's no breaking news that quite a few ESPN sportscenter anchors and other ESPN employees frequent Lawrence during basketball season to watch games and party downtown. I'm sure they helped push us onto the list.

sdoyel 8 years, 9 months ago

ohioburg:The Patriots were terrible for years. And how long was it before the Red Sox finally won the World Series?I think you would probably have to give it to Los Angeles.USCUCLALakers

cvillain 8 years, 9 months ago

CNNSI listed Lawrence High as the number 22 high school athletics program in the nation for 2007-2008. Link: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/highschool/05/19/high.school.top.10/index.html

trich424 8 years, 9 months ago

"i believe lawrence high won girls and boys state basketball"Just girls. Boys got trounced by Wichita Southeast.

BCoburnHull 8 years, 9 months ago

I have checked and I do not see Lawrence as a finalist for this contest. Did I miss something?

Mike Crosbie 8 years, 9 months ago

Boston has to be the favorite, but.......with Paul Pierce, the leader of the Celtics being a Jayhawk....it should be noted and credited.Rock Chalk!

TtownHawk 8 years, 9 months ago

We're officially announced now. i saw a commercial on ESPN today. still probly Boston or LA will win. just on how big they are and how many different sports they have/win

actorman 8 years, 9 months ago

If it's historical, it's clearly L.A. But if it's current it's clearly Boston. Either way, as much as I love Lawrence and KU, it doesn't deserve to actually be crowned Title Town.Lawrence High does have a tremendous history, though. I remember a while back when the Lawrence High Girls Volleyball team not only went undefeated but didn't lose a single game the entire season! That has to be one of the greatest accomplishments in sports that no one's heard of.

didjabuti 8 years, 9 months ago

It's gotta be LA. 103 NCAA Championships, 124 overall national championships for UCLA. USC has 88 and 108. The Lakers have 14 Championships, the Sparks have 2. The Raiders won 1 of their Superbowls in LA.And I don't even like LA

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