Big Ten

Hoosiers beat Hawkeyes to win regular-season Big Ten championship

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Hoosiers beat Hawkeyes to win regular-season Big Ten championship

The Indiana Hoosiers are the Big Ten's regular-season champions.

It was indeed a super Tuesday for Tom Crean's crew, which held off Iowa by an 81-78 score in Iowa City.

The Hoosiers shot a sterling 50.8 percent from the field, buoyed by a hot first half in which they posted a terrific 60-percent shooting mark. Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes struggled from the field all night long, shooting just 38.8 percent from the field and 36.1 percent in the second half.

Indiana had a six-point lead at halftime and boosted that edge to double digits not long into the second half. That lead reached as high as 14 and stayed in double digits till midway through the half. Iowa's charge came then, an 11-0 run capped by back-to-back 3-pointers by Nicholas Baer that tied the game at 70. The Hawkeyes grabbed their first lead of the half with four and a half minutes to play. But Peter Jok's layup that gave them that advantage was the Hawkeyes' final made basket before there were just nine seconds remaining, the team's only point during that more than four-minute stretch was an Adam Woodbury free throw. And during that stretch, the Hoosiers took advantage, going 5-for-6 from the free-throw line to grab a modest two-point lead before Yogi Ferrell's 3-pointer that put Indiana ahead, 80-75, with 37 seconds to play. Anthony Clemmons hit a 3 with nine seconds left to bring Iowa within three, and the Hawkeyes came away with a steal in the final seconds. But a pair of 3-point attempts were no good, and Indiana won the game and the conference crown.

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Hoosiers gear right here]

The Hoosiers were 11-for-22 from behind the 3-point line, also holding a small 34-30 edge in points in the paint, scoring 14 second-chance points and scoring 18 points off turnovers.

Ferrell led the way with 20 points — hitting four 3-pointers — with Troy Williams scoring 15 points and Nick Zeisloft scoring 11 points. Thomas Bryant recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Jarrod Uthoff scored 18 points to lead the Hawkeyes. Clemmons scored 14 points, and Ahmad Wagner scored 11 points.

Indiana secured its second outright regular-season conference championship in the past four seasons, quite the accomplishment for a head coach in Crean who has been under a ton of fire in recent years. The Hoosiers have won four games in a row and have a 24-6 record overall, 14-3 in the Big Ten. There is one final regular-season game remaining: against Maryland on Sunday.

Iowa has now dropped four in a row and five of its last six, frighteningly mirroring its late-season slide two years ago. The Hawkeyes sit at 20-9 overall and 11-6 in the conference after Tuesday's loss. They close their regular-season schedule Saturday at Michigan.

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

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USA TODAY

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

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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.