Big Ten

Spartans up to No. 9 as Big Ten has three in top 10 of latest AP poll


Spartans up to No. 9 as Big Ten has three in top 10 of latest AP poll

Thanks to a bevy of top-10 losses this weekend, the Big Ten placed three teams in the top 10 when the latest AP poll was released Sunday afternoon.

Ohio State remained the No. 2 team in the country, while Iowa moved up two spots from No. 8 to No. 6 and Michigan State moved up five spots from No. 14 to No. 9, giving the conference three teams in the top 10. Three other Big Ten teams were ranked: Michigan moved up one spot from No. 15 to No. 14, Northwestern moved up from No. 24 to No. 20 and Wisconsin moved up from No. 23 to No. 21.

Top-10 teams Utah, LSU, Stanford and Baylor all lost this weekend, allowing the Hawkeyes, Spartans and Wolverines to move up in the rankings. Utah, LSU and Stanford all fell out of the top 10, while Baylor dropped from No. 4 to No. 10.

Ohio State remained undefeated and moved to 10-0 with a 28-3 win over Illinois on Saturday. The Buckeyes have the two toughest tests of their regular-season schedule in the final two weeks against Michigan State and Michigan. A win over Michigan State — and a Michigan win over Penn State — would force a play-in game for the East Division title and a spot in the conference championship game between the Buckeyes and Wolverines in the annual rivalry game.

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Iowa also boasts a 10-0 record, staying perfect with a 40-35 win over rival Minnesota on Saturday, winning the Floyd of Rosedale. The Hawkeyes have two games remaining against Purdue and Nebraska, games in which Iowa will be heavily favored. A win in just one would clinch a spot in the Big Ten title game.

Michigan State, 9-1 after Saturday's 24-7 win over Maryland, still has a path to the East Division title and the Big Ten title game. If the Spartans beat the Buckeyes, all they'd need would be a win in the season-finale against Penn State to win the East, with the outcome of the Ohio State-Michigan game becoming meaningless, as Michigan State would hold the tiebreakers over both.

Michigan can also still win the East Division crown. The Wolverines improved to 8-2 with Saturday's double-overtime win over Indiana. If Ohio State beats Michigan State, Michigan can win the East by beating the Buckeyes, assuming of course that the Wolverines get a win over Penn State.

Northwestern, at 8-2 after beating Purdue on Saturday, can clinch the program's fourth-ever 10-win season with wins in the final two regular-season games against Wisconsin and Illinois.

Wisconsin, which was on bye this week, is also 8-2 with losses to two top-six teams in Alabama and Iowa. The Badgers can get to 10 wins with victories in the final two regular-season games against Northwestern and Minnesota.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


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.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.