Big Ten

Indiana dismisses head basketball coach Tom Crean

Indiana dismisses head basketball coach Tom Crean

The days of Tom Crean constantly being on the hot seat at Indiana are over.

The Hoosiers dismissed Crean on Thursday, bringing an end to his nine-year tenure as the team's head coach just one season after he led the team to a Big Ten regular-season championship.

"After deliberative thought and evaluation, including multiple meetings with Tom about the future, I have decided to make a change in the leadership of our men's basketball program," Indiana athletics director Fred Glass said in a statement. "Tom Crean brought us through one of the most challenging periods in IU basketball history, led his players to many successes in the classroom and on the court and represented our university with class and integrity. While winning two outright Big Ten titles in five years and being named Big Ten Coach of the Year, Tom worked tirelessly to develop great young men and successful teams. However, ultimately, we seek more consistent, high levels of success, and we will not shy away from our expectations. Tom is a good man and a good coach, and we owe him a great debt of gratitude for his many positive contributions to Indiana basketball. We wish him well.

"The national search for our new coach begins immediately. The board of trustees and the president have expressly delegated to me the responsibility and authority for this search and hire. While I will not establishing a formal search committee or advisory committee, I will consult with basketball experts from around the country and throughout the state of Indiana, including many former Indiana University basketball players. The expectations for Indiana University basketball are to perennially contend for and win multiple Big Ten championships, regularly go deep in the NCAA tournament and win our next national championship — and more after that. We will identify and recruit a coach who will meet these expectations."

The move to fire Crean might seem somewhat shocking considering the Hoosiers are just one year removed from winning an outright Big Ten regular-season championship and advancing to the Sweet Sixteen of last season's NCAA tournament. But on the first day of this year's NCAA tournament, Indiana's season is already over, ending with a loss to Georgia Tech in the NIT on Tuesday.

Undoubtedly Crean's tenure in Bloomington was a roller coaster of results. While digging the program out of the scandalous Kelvin Sampson Era, Crean won a total of just 28 games in his first three seasons. But in his fourth year, the Hoosiers won 27 games on earned a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament, advancing to the Sweet Sixteen. The following season, they won 29 games and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, also advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.

Year 6 saw just a 17-15 record and no NCAA tournament berth. After 20 wins in Year 7, the Hoosiers returned to the Big Dance but lost their first game. Last season, Indiana went 27-8, winning the conference's regular-season title and beating Kentucky in the NCAA tournament before bowing out to eventual national runner-up North Carolina in the Sweet Sixteen.

But this season, the Hoosiers fell apart despite winning huge non-conference games against Kansas and North Carolina, two of the No. 1 seeds in this year's tournament. Indiana went just 7-11 in the Big Ten and finished the season with a 18-16 record.

Despite developing top-10 NBA draftees Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh, Crean has taken heat from the Indiana faithful seemingly every season since arriving in Bloomington. His hot seat reached its highest temperature in the past several seasons, when in addition to inconsistent on-court results, the program faced a litany of off-the-court incidents that resulted in arrests, dismissals and even a long hospital stay for one player after a teammate accidentally struck him with a car.

In the end, the results didn't look too good all totaled up. Crean posted a 166-135 overall record with an ugly 71-91 conference record.

Certainly, as Glass stated, expectations are high at one of college hoops' more-storied programs in a basketball-rabid state. Crean couldn't meet those expectations on an annual basis.

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.