Big Ten

Butler's buzzer-beater buries Northwestern at Hinkle Fieldhouse

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USA TODAY

Butler's buzzer-beater buries Northwestern at Hinkle Fieldhouse

The Gavitt Tipoff Games have really been something so far.

A night after Maryland pulled off an unbelievable comeback against Georgetown in the final seconds, Northwestern went down to the wire with Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse. But it was Bulldogs freshman Kamar Baldwin who first made a crucial steal and then knocked down a game-winning jumper with just 0.4 seconds remaining to send the Wildcats back to Evanston with a 70-68 loss.

Despite holding a ridiculous shooting advantage over the first 20 minutes — Northwestern shot 45.8 percent from the field, while Butler shot a brutal 31.4 percent — the Cats had just a three-point lead at halftime, 32-29.

Things were tight the entire second half. Butler held a five-point lead around the midway point of the period, only for Northwestern to erase it with a 12-1 run over a roughly five-minute span that featured five points from Vic Law and 3-pointers from Law and Gavin Skelly and put the Cats ahead by six. The Bulldogs, though, had an answer for that, charging out on their own 11-3 burst to tie the game at 63 with about three minutes left and then take a two-point lead a half minute later.

Bryant McIntosh and Tyler Wideman traded pairs of free throws, and Sanjay Lumpkin made a game-tying layup with under two minutes to play. Skelly split a pair of free throws to put the Cats ahead by one with a minute to play, and Andrew Chrabascz splitting two free-throw tries tied the game at 68 with 53 seconds left. With a chance to take the lead, McIntosh had the ball stolen away by Baldwin, and after a Butler timeout, Baldwin nailed the game-winning jumper from just inside the 3-point line.

Northwestern shot even better after halftime than it did during the game's first 20 minutes, going 13-for-26 from the field and 5-for-10 from behind the 3-point line. But Butler had a big advantage from the free-throw line in the second half, making 12 of 15 from the stripe, while Northwestern was just 5-for-6. The Cats also turned the ball over 16 times on the evening — including 10 times in the second half — leading to 18 points for the Bulldogs. Butler was better in the paint, with a 26-18 scoring edge, and had an 8-0 advantage in fast-break points.

Four Northwestern players scored in double figures. Law led the way with 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting and 5-for-6 3-point shooting, also grabbing six rebounds. McIntosh had 12 points to go along with five assists. Lumpkin and Scottie Lindsey each scored 10 points and combined for 12 rebounds.

The Cats dropped to 2-1 with the loss and next head to Brooklyn for the Legends Classic, with games against Texas and either Notre Dame or Colorado awaiting next week.

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.

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.