Big Ten

Spartans are new No. 1 in latest AP poll

tom-izzo-1207.png

Spartans are new No. 1 in latest AP poll

Life's pretty darn good in East Lansing right now.

A day after the Michigan State football team was tabbed as one of four teams to play for a national championship in the College Football Playoff, the Michigan State basketball team was the new No. 1 team in the country when the latest AP poll was released Monday morning.

Following losses last week by both No. 1 Kentucky and No. 2 Maryland, it was expected that undefeated Michigan State would rise from No. 3 to the top of the rankings, and that's just what happened.

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

The Spartans picked up a big win over Louisville in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge last Wednesday before holding Binghamton to just 33 points in a blowout win Saturday. Michigan State takes its 9-0 record into games this week against Maryland-Eastern Shore and Florida.

Elsewhere in the top 25, Maryland dropped from No. 2 to No. 6 after suffering its first loss of the season at the hands of North Carolina last week. The 7-1 Terps play UConn on Tuesday night.

Purdue stayed at No. 11. The Boilermakers also boast an undefeated record at 8-0. They play IUPUI, Howard and Youngstown State this week.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

jeremy_larkin.jpg
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

anderson.jpg
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.