Big Ten

Hoosiers blown out of NCAA tournament as North Carolina hits century mark

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Hoosiers blown out of NCAA tournament as North Carolina hits century mark

Indiana made a habit of dropping huge point total on opponents this season. But in its final game of the year, it got to feel what that was like.

North Carolina's offense was unstoppable Friday, so terrific that it ended Indiana's season pretty early on in the teams' Sweet Sixteen matchup. The No. 1-seeded Tar Heels passed the century mark and scored more points against the Hoosiers than any team has all season, running away with a 101-86 decision and a ticket to the Elite Eight.

The Heels shot a scorching 62.1 percent from the field in the first half and 51.6 percent on the game, building a lead as big as 22 in the second half in the rout.

With the Hoosiers getting torched on the defensive end, a lack of offensive success made matters worse. Indiana shot just 40.6 percent in the first half, when Carolina built its double-digit lead, and finished the game shooting at a 41-percent clip.

Carolina seemingly couldn't miss in the first half. An Indiana defense that showed it was capable of surrendering big point totals at times this season showed up again at the worst possible time, allowing 52 first-half points. The Tar Heels, not a good 3-point shooting team, was a near-perfect 7-for-8 from behind the arc. Marcus Paige was particularly deadly early, hitting his first four 3-point attempts and piling up 12 points in the game's first five minutes. Paige and Justin jackson combined for 27 first-half points for the Heels. Carolina built a lead as big as 16 in the first half, with only five straight points to end the half preventing Indiana from heading to halftime with a monstrous deficit.

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

Going along with those defensive struggles — which were certainly aided by the No. 1-seeded Carolina and its dynamite offense — Indiana wasn't its usual sharp-shooting self on the offensive end, either. The Hoosiers, one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country, was just 4-for-12 from 3-point range.

The second half was more of the same, the Hoosiers never posing much of a threat. They did hit nine more 3-pointers after halftime, but the lead was merely dented, never threatened.

In his final game as an Indiana player, Yogi Ferrell scored a game-high 25 points. Troy Williams poured in 21 points, Max Bielfeldt had 15 points off the bench and Thomas Bryant added 12.

Paige finished with 21 points, hitting six 3s on the night. Carolina was red hot from 3-point range overall, going 11-for-20 from deep.

The Hoosiers were the final Big Ten team standing after Maryland lost to Kansas on Thursday and Wisconsin lost to Notre Dame earlier Friday. Indiana was the conference's regular-season champion and lost for just the second time in its final nine games.

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.