Big Ten

Spartans stay on top, Terps up to No. 4, Purdue drops in latest AP poll

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Spartans stay on top, Terps up to No. 4, Purdue drops in latest AP poll

Michigan State remained the country's No. 1 team and Maryland moved up to No. 4 when the latest AP poll was released Monday afternoon.

The Spartans are still undefeated at 12-0, the only 12-0 team in the country, after beating Northeastern over the weekend. They wrap up non-conference play with a Tuesday game against Oakland before the start of the Big Ten portion of the schedule on Dec. 29.

The Terps scored a win over Princeton over the weekend to improve to 10-1. The two-spot jump moved them from No. 4 to No. 6, the rise thanks in part to losses by previous No. 4 Kentucky and previous No. 5 Iowa State. Maryland wraps non-conference play against Marshall this weekend before starting conference play on Dec. 30.

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

Elsewhere in the top 25, Purdue dropped out of the top 10, tumbling from No. 9 to No. 14 following Saturday's loss to Butler. While the Boilermakers lost their perfect season, dropping to 11-1, the loss should go down as a "quality" one, with Butler rising to No. 9 after its win. Purdue plays Vanderbilt on Tuesday before starting its Big Ten schedule Dec. 29.

Those were the only three Big Ten teams ranked in this week's poll, though Iowa (8-3) and Northwestern (10-1) received votes.

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.