Big Ten

Badgers upset by UW-Milwaukee, first loss to Panthers since 1992

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Badgers upset by UW-Milwaukee, first loss to Panthers since 1992

Here's something that doesn't happen too often: Wisconsin losing to UW-Milwaukee.

Well, it happened Wednesday night, as the Badgers suffered their second upset loss at the Kohl Center this season, falling to the in-state Panthers, 68-67, snapping a 22-game winning streak against Bo Ryan's former team.

In fact, it was Ryan's first loss to UW-Milwaukee since leaving that job and taking over the Wisconsin program ahead of the 2001-02 season.

The Badgers led by as many as 15 in the first half and went to the break with an 11-point lead. Wisconsin led by 12 a little more than five minutes into the second half when UW-Milwaukee took off on a 13-3 run to get the deficit down to two. It stayed close from there, the Badgers' lead growing no bigger than five, and the Panthers tied the game at 60 with about three minutes to play.

The Panthers turned a missed Bronson Koenig shot into a bucket to take the lead, and the teams traded two free throws apiece after that. Inside of a minute to play, with the Badgers down two, Vitto Brown was called for an offensive foul, giving the ball back to the Panthers, but they didn't do anything with it. Nigel Hayes went to the free-throw line with a chance to tie the game with 24 seconds to play, but Hayes — who scored 32 points on the night — missed both attempts from the charity stripe. UW-Milwaukee hit two more free throws to make it a four-point lead, but Koenig answered with a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left to bring Wisconsin within a point. Then the Badgers had a chance to win the game when the Panthers traveled on the ensuing possession, but Koenig's shot missed.

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Wisconsin shot just 36.4 percent from the field, which was still better than the 35.8-percent mark by UW-Milwaukee. But the numbers were disparate in the second half, the Panthers shooting 42.3 percent to the Badgers' 29.2-percent clip.

Hayes' 32 points led all scorers, and 12 of those points came from the free-throw line, though he missed seven free throws. Koenig finished with 16 points, and Ethan Happ had 10, turning in a double-double with 15 rebounds.

The Badgers entered the game with a 31-1 all-time record against the Panthers, though that's now down to 31-2. It's the second upset loss at home this season for Wisconsin, which dropped its season-opener to Western Illinois.

It's been a bumpy start to the season for Ryan's Badgers, who are just 6-4 through 10 games. Next up is Marquette on Saturday.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

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Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.

Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football. 

"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.

"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.

"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline." 

Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."

"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.

"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."

Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

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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.