Big Ten

Big 12 rivalry renewed: Huskers, Jayhawks to meet on hardwood

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Big 12 rivalry renewed: Huskers, Jayhawks to meet on hardwood

Two former Big 12 rivals will meet on the hardwood for the first time since conference realignment shook up that league five years ago.

Nebraska and Kansas announced Tuesday a home-and-home hoops series that will see the Huskers visit Lawrence in December and play hosts to the Jayhawks in December of 2017.

“We are excited to revive a classic Big 12 matchup between Nebraska basketball and Kansas,” Nebraska head coach Tim Miles said in the announcement. “I believe this will be a very exciting event for our fans and student-athletes alike. This is something we look forward to as we continue and try and build as strong a schedule as possible to put us in a great position for Big Ten and postseason play.”

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Huskers gear right here]

These two teams first squared off in 1900 but have not played since Nebraska's final season in the Big 12 in 2011. In fact, this will be the first regular-season game between the Huskers and a Big 12 team since they left to join the Big Ten in the summer of 2011. Similarly, the Nebraska football team hasn't played a Big 12 team since leaving that conference.

Nebraska and Kansas have played a whopping 241 times since that first meeting at the turn of the 19th century. Unsurprisingly, the historically elite Jayhawks have a massive lead in the all-time series, 170-71. The Huskers won most recently in 2004 — their only win in the series this century — and have won just three times in the last 20 years.

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

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USA TODAY

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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USA TODAY

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.