Big Ten

Purdue loses huge lead but edges Iowa State to advance to Sweet Sixteen

Purdue loses huge lead but edges Iowa State to advance to Sweet Sixteen

Purdue is going back to the Sweet Sixteen.

For the first time since 2010, the Boilermakers advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, this time doing it by scoring an 80-76 win over fifth-seeded Iowa State in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

What was a blowout turned into a nail-biting finish, the Cyclones using a monster run in the second half to erase what was at one point a 19-point lead for the Boilers.

Iowa State went on a 25-8 surge to turn a 15-point deficit into a two-point lead, getting a pair of free throws with a little more than three minutes left to take its first lead of the night.

But Purdue pulled off a perfect counter punch, scoring the next seven on a P.J. Thompson 3-pointer and buckets from Caleb Swanigan and Vincent Edwards to make it a five-point game, beneifting from back-to-back Iowa State turnovers.

The Cyclones made it a two-point game in the final minute with another small rally, and there seemed to be more life when Dakota Mathias missed the front end of a 1-and-1 set of free throws. But Swanigan cleaned up the offensive rebound, allowing an ensuing pair of free throws from Thompson to make it a four-point game and ice things.

Swanigan had a monster night, as has been a pretty common occurence throughout his player of the year caliber season. Saturday he totaled 20 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.

Edwards was stellar, too, for Purdue, scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

The Boilers advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the 10th time in program history and the third time under Matt Painter.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


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.