Big Ten

Spartans allow just 33 points to Binghamton in improving to 9-0

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Spartans allow just 33 points to Binghamton in improving to 9-0

Michigan State was already on its way to being the No. 1 team in the country, what with Kentucky and Maryland losing earlier this week.

And while a win over Binghamton was hardly going to be a highlight on the NCAA tournament resume, allowing just 33 points is an impressive feat, regardless of what team you're playing.

The Spartan defense was on point Saturday, holding Binghamton to just 16.7-percent shooting on the game and just 10 made baskets in a 76-33 blowout win in East Lansing.

The 33-point total for Binghamton matched the second-lowest for a Michigan State opponent since Tom Izzo took over as head coach more than 20 years ago. Only Northwestern score fewer with 29 points in January of 2000.

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Michigan State yielded just 12 first-half points Saturday, with Binghamton going 4-for-31 from the field. Meanwhile, the Spartans shot 51.7 percent in the first 20 minutes and exploded out to a 41-12 halftime lead.

How quickly was this one over? Well, Michigan State scored on an alley-oop off the game's opening tipoff:

With No. 1 Kentucky's loss to UCLA on Thursday and No. 2 Maryland's loss to North Carolina on Wednesday, the No. 3 Spartans, at 9-0 after Saturday's win, are in line for a jump up to the No. 1 spot in the AP top-25 rankings come Monday.

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.