Big Ten

Illini to face just-arriving Michigan team in Thursday's Big Ten Tournament game

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AP

Illini to face just-arriving Michigan team in Thursday's Big Ten Tournament game

WASHINGTON — What started with a terrifying moment on, and off, a runway in Ann Arbor could have major implications on the Big Ten Tournament.

Facing high winds in the Midwest, Michigan's team plane aborted takeoff Wednesday and slid off the runway en route to the nation's capital for the conference tournament.

Thankfully no one was hurt in the ordeal, but the rest of the day became a travel nightmare for the Wolverines. They won't leave for D.C. until four and a half hours before tipoff in Thursday's Big Ten Tournament game against Illinois.

That could cause some major upheaval in this week's tournament. Obviously it will be a big challenge for Michigan to step off the plane and play a game, potentially giving Illinois an edge and halting the momentum of the Wolverines, who won six of their final eight regular-season games and entered this tournament as one of the conference's hottest teams.

But the winner of this game plays Purdue in the quarterfinals on Friday, meaning this game could send ripple effects throughout the bracket.

If Illinois does end up with an edge, a win could drastically affect its chances of reaching the NCAA tournament, entering this weekend on the bubble, according to the Internet's foremost bracketologists.

Illinois had this to say about the situation:

We'll see how much jetlag will affect Michigan on Thursday.

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.