Big Ten

Big Ten poll update: Hoosiers plummet 10 spots, only three Big Ten teams in AP poll


Big Ten poll update: Hoosiers plummet 10 spots, only three Big Ten teams in AP poll

You lose to IPFW, you're not going to be the No. 3 team in the country anymore.

Indiana received confirmation of that Monday, when the new AP poll revealed a 10-spot drop for the Hoosiers, who shockingly lost to IPFW last Tuesday.

Despite the plummet down the rankings, Indiana was still the Big Ten's highest-ranked squad. The conference boasts just two other ranked teams — No. 15 Purdue and No. 17 Wisconsin — heading into this week's Big Ten-ACC Challenge. Michigan State and Michigan both fell out of the top 25.

Indiana's stunning loss brought the lowest of lows following the highest of highs (a season-opening win over Kansas) for Tom Crean's crew. At 4-1, things remain mighty challenging for the Hoosiers prior to the start of Big Ten play. Indiana takes on third-ranked North Carolina on Wednesday in Bloomington and faces 18th-ranked Butler on Dec. 17.

Purdue has won four straight since losing to defending-champion Villanova back on Nov. 14. The Boilermakers rose two spots in this week's poll, up to No. 15 from No. 17 a week ago. Villanova is currently the No. 2 team in the country. Purdue has a tough road test against No. 14 Louisville on Wednesday.

Wisconsin dropped just on spot from No. 16 to No. 17 after losing to aforementioned North Carolina last week in Maui. The Badgers, 5-2, match up with No. 22 Syracuse on Tuesday night in Madison before hosting Oklahoma on Saturday.

Michigan State fell out of the top 25 after losing for the third time this season, with all three coming against highly ranked opponents. Arizona, Kentucky and Baylor, the three teams who have beaten Michigan State, are all currently ranked in the top 16. And things don't get any easier for the 4-3 Spartans, who take on fifth-ranked Duke on Tuesday night in Durham.

Michigan's stay in the top 25 was brief, knocked out after suffering its first loss of the season with a horrendous shooting performance against South Carolina, now the No. 20 team in the country. The Wolverines are 5-1 and play host to Virginia Tech on Wednesday night with non-conference games still to come against Texas and UCLA, the latter ranked 11th in the latest poll.

Maryland is on the cusp of the top 25, the de facto No. 26 team in the country with the most votes of any unranked team. Also in this week's "others receiving votes" category: Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, Minnesota and Rutgers.

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


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


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.