Big Ten

Purdue up to No. 9 as Big Ten lands three in top 10 of AP poll

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Purdue up to No. 9 as Big Ten lands three in top 10 of AP poll

The Big Ten boasts three of the top 10 teams in the country.

Purdue vaulted into the top 10 of the new AP top-25 rankings Monday, joining Michigan State and Maryland. Purdue jumped up from No. 11 to No. 9, Maryland stayed at No. 6 and Michigan State remained the No. 1 team in the country when the latest poll was released.

The Boilermakers and Spartans are the only 11-0 teams in college basketball after their respective wins over Youngstown State and Florida on Saturday.

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Purdue gear right here]

Purdue won three games last week against IUPUI, Howard and Youngstown State, but the end of non-conference play will be far more challenging, with games against ranked Butler and a recently ranked Vanderbilt team before the start of Big Ten play.

Michigan State improved to 11-0 with wins last week over Maryland-Eastern Shore and Florida. The Spartans will face Northeastern and Oakland to wrap non-conference play.

Maryland beat UConn and Maryland-Eastern Shore last week, improving to 9-1, that lone loss coming against No. 11 North Carolina. The Terps have games with Princeton and Marshall left prior to the beginning of the conference schedule.

Iowa and Northwestern also received votes in this week's poll.

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.