Big Ten

Big Ten Player of the Year Denzel Valentine goes to Bulls with No. 14 pick in NBA Draft


Big Ten Player of the Year Denzel Valentine goes to Bulls with No. 14 pick in NBA Draft

For the fourth straight season, the Big Ten Player of the Year was selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.

The Bulls made Michigan State star Denzel Valentine the No. 14 pick in Thursday night's draft, Valentine joining Frank Kaminsky, Nik Stauskas and Trey Burke as recent conference players of the year to go in the first round.

Valentine also made it three straight drafts with a Spartan selected. Branden Dawson was picked in the second round last year after both Gary Harris and Adreian Payne were selected in the first round in 2014.

Valentine was sensational last season as the Spartans' senior leader. Early in the season, he registered a triple-double in the Champions Classic against Kansas, becoming just the fourth Michigan State player to do so, joining Magic Johnson, Charlie Bell and Draymond Green. Valentine averaged 19.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game, leading the Spartans to a Big Ten Tournament championship. His college career came to a crashing end, however, when Michigan State was upset by Middle Tennessee State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Valentine showed his ability as a scorer but wowed with a more all-around game. He excelled at running Michigan State's offense and made countless highlight-reel passes. That might have intrigued the Bulls, who dealt starting point guard Derrick Rose to the Knicks on Wednesday.

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.