Big Ten

Spartans up to No. 4, Hawkeyes up to No. 16 in latest AP poll

tom-izzo-matt-costello-0111.png

Spartans up to No. 4, Hawkeyes up to No. 16 in latest AP poll

Michigan State rose to No. 4 and Iowa rose to No. 16 when the latest AP poll was released on Monday.

The Spartans, thanks to two blowout wins over Illinois and Penn State and two losses by previous No. 4 Virginia, moved ahead one spot, up from No. 5.

The Hawkeyes, still undefeated in Big Ten play after beating Nebraska in their only game of the week, climbed three spots from No. 19.

Michigan State and Iowa will play for the second time this season on Thursday in East Lansing.

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

Elsewhere, Maryland remained the No. 3 team in the country, not gaining any ground after Kansas and Oklahoma stayed in the Nos. 1 and 2 spots. The Jayhawks handed the Sooners their first loss of the season in last week's triple-overtime classic. The Terps got a thrilling win of their own Saturday, when Melo Trimble hit a buzzer-beating game-winning triple to lift Maryland over Wisconsin. The Terps get Michigan and Ohio State this week.

Purdue, after losing to Illinois on Sunday night, dropped from No. 20 to No. 25. The Boilermakers are now 2-2 in conference play and face off with Penn State and Rutgers this week.

Indiana also received votes in this week's poll. The Hoosiers, on a nine-game winning streak, were close to cracking the top 25, the de facto No. 27 team in the country.

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.