Big Ten

Big Ten leads college basketball in attendance ... again


Big Ten leads college basketball in attendance ... again

The Big Ten is the most-attended basketball conference in America. Again.

The NCAA released the attendance figures for the 2014-15 season on Monday, and the Big Ten paced all conferences by drawing 3,195,137 fans to its 250 men's basketball games. It's the 39th consecutive season in which the Big Ten has led the way nationally. The big number outshone the ACC, which despite holding 20 more games drew 3,069,296 fans and averaged more than a thousand fewer fans per game.

The Big Ten ranked second when it came to fans at the conference tournament, with the ACC taking that top distinction. A total of 141,159 fans took in the ACC tourney, while the Big Ten Tournament drew 118,496 fans to the United Center.

Big Ten teams also dominated the team rankings, with eight — more than half the conference — ranking in the top 25 when it came to the number of fans per game.

[MORE BIG TEN: Illini announce five non-conference games to be played in Springfield]

Wisconsin was fifth in the country, averaging 17,279. The Badgers drew 276,464 fans to their 16 home games. Indiana drew more fans than Wisconsin overall, with 309,477 taking in 19 home games. The Hoosiers averaged 16,288 per game, good for eighth in the country. Nebraska also made the top 10, ranking 10th with a 15,569 average.

Michigan State was 14th, Illinois was 15th, Ohio State was 16th, Iowa was 20th and Maryland was 25th.

Michigan came in at No. 28, Minnesota was No. 29 and Purdue was No. 32. The remaining three Big Ten teams — Penn State, Northwestern and Rutgers — ranked 56th, 72nd and 91st, respectively. Interestingly, though, Penn State had the the fifth-largest increase in attendance in the country, see a 1,787-fan increase per game. Rutgers was 15th on that list.

Check out all the data the NCAA released right here.

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.