The Illini will host Notre Dame in a renovated State Farm Center as part of next season's Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
The matchups for the much-anticipated annual non-conference hoops event were announced Wednesday, and among the headliners, at least locally, is the first game between Illinois and Notre Dame since the Round of 32 of the 2003 NCAA tournament. That game, a 68-60 win for the Fighting Irish, is the two schools' only meeting since 1973, though they have played 40 times, with the Illini holding a 27-13 series advantage.
The game will be the first after the completion of what Illinois is calling "the most comprehensive phase" of the renovations at the State Farm Center. The majority of the Illini's home non-conference schedule will be played away from Champaign.
Other intriguing matchups include a battle of absolute heavyweights in Maryland's trip to North Carolina. The Terps and Tar Heels are expected to be among the best teams in college basketball next season, and this Challenge game should be circled on every hoops fan's calendar. Additionally, Indiana at Duke, Louisville at Michigan State and Wisconsin at Syracuse ought to be highly anticipated games.
Northwestern will travel to play Virginia Tech, the first time those two programs will play against each other.
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Here's the complete schedule for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Times and broadcast information will be announced later.
Monday, Nov. 30
Clemson at Minnesota
Wake Forest at Rutgers
Tuesday, Dec. 1
Maryland at North Carolina
Virginia at Ohio State
Michigan at North Carolina State
Purdue at Pittsburgh
Northwestern at Virginia Tech
Miami at Nebraska
Wednesday, Dec. 2
Indiana at Duke
Louisville at Michigan State
Notre Dame at Illinois
Wisconsin at Syracuse
Florida State at Iowa
Penn State at Boston College
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 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.