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.
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.