Big Ten

Badgers stay on roll by running away from Michigan late


Badgers stay on roll by running away from Michigan late

With the way the Badgers have played since mid-January, they've looked like one of the two best teams in the Big Ten.

And now, however improbably, they actually are.

Though the conference standings are always changing, Wisconsin at least temporarily moved into second place in the league after a 68-57 win over Michigan on Sunday evening in Madison. The win was the third straight for the Badgers, who have won 10 of their last 11 after starting conference play 1-4.

The Badgers trailed the Wolverines by a point at the half after shooting just 41.7 percent over the first 20 minutes. But after several minutes of lead trading in the second half, Wisconsin burst away from a one-point deficit with 13 minutes to play, going on a 13-3 run that built a nine-point lead. Nigel Hayes scored six of those 13 points, with Ethan Happ accounting for four. Michigan did respond with back-to-back buckets to make it a five-point game, but a Bronson Koenig triple served as the dagger, stretching the lead back out to eight. It didn't get any smaller the rest of the way, and Vitto Brown's career-high fourth 3-pointer made it a double-digit lead that reached as high as 13 before the final horn sounded with an 11-point margin.

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The Badgers shot 56 percent from the field over the final 20 minutes, going 14-for-25 from the field and 4-for-9 from behind the 3-point line. They finished with a big 33-20 rebounding advantage and went 12-for-15 from the free-throw line.

The Wolverines finished shooting 48 percent from the field but were just 5-for-13 from 3-point range.

Koenig led four Wisconsin scorers in double figures with 19 points, making three 3-pointers. Hayes had 16 points, Brown had 14 with the quartet of made triples and Happ had 12.

Zak Irvin led Michigan with 14 points, with Derrick Walton Jr., Duncan Robinson and Ricky Doyle all scoring 10 points.

The Badgers' latest win boosted their record to 19-10 overall and 11-5 in the Big Ten, good enough for the time being for the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. Of course, Wisconsin still has two more regular-season games left — plus a lot more could happen around the league with tiebreakers and such — against Minnesota on Wednesday and against Purdue next weekend, both away from the Kohl Center.

The Wolverines have dropped three of their last four, the most recent lowering their record to 20-10 overall and 10-7 in the league. Michigan's final regular-season game comes next weekend against Iowa.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.