Big Ten

Hawkeyes leap up to No. 3 in latest AP poll


Hawkeyes leap up to No. 3 in latest AP poll

The Hawkeyes got the ranking their sensational season deserves when the latest AP poll was released Monday.

Iowa, a perfect 7-0 in Big Ten play, is the nation's new No. 3 team, up from No. 9 a week after seven of the eight teams previously ranked ahead of them suffered defeats.

The Hawkeyes' latest impressive victory came Sunday, a 12-point win over ranked Purdue, the fourth win over a ranked foe during Iowa's 7-0 Big Ten start. Those four wins are season sweeps of Michigan State and Purdue.

The Hawkeyes are 16-3 overall this season, their losses coming against Dayton, Notre Dame and Iowa State. They're getting plenty of additional national attention, too, with ESPN's Joe Lunardi placing Iowa as a No. 2 seed in his Bracketology forecast of the NCAA tournament field. Those three teams Iowa lost to also made Lunardi's bracket projection, and two (Iowa State and Notre Dame) were ranked in this week's poll.

Iowa has a big test upcoming, playing Maryland on Thursday night in College Park.

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Elsewhere in this week's top-25 rankings, Maryland dropped one spot from No. 7 to No. 8 following its loss at Michigan State on Saturday. The Terps are 17-3 on the season and boast a 6-2 conference record heading into Thursday's top-10 showdown with Iowa.

Michigan State dropped one spot, from No. 11 to No. 12. Despite a big win over Maryland on Saturday, there was a loss to Nebraska a few days prior, which had the biggest effect on the Spartans' drop. Sparty is 17-4 on the season but just 4-4 in conference play. Games against Northwestern and Rutgers come this week.

Indiana jumped up from No. 25 to No. 19. The Hoosiers are also off to a perfect 7-0 start in Big Ten play and are one a 12-game winning streak, but their schedule has been heavily criticized, having faced no ranked conference opponents yet. Four more games against unranked teams are next up before a Feb. 11 game against Iowa.

Purdue, despite losing by double digits at Iowa on Sunday, moved up one spot from No. 22 to No. 21. The Boilermakers, at 17-4 on the season and 5-3 in conference play, face Minnesota and Nebraska this week.

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.