Big Ten

Terps hang on for tougher-than-expected win over South Dakota State

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Terps hang on for tougher-than-expected win over South Dakota State

Maryland nearly became the latest Big Ten team to suffer an unbelievable NCAA tournament collapse, but it weathered South Dakota State just enough to save the conference further postseason embarrassment.

The Terps almost blew an 18-point second-half lead but hung on just long enough for a 79-74 win that advanced them to the Round of 32.

Maryland led by 12 at the half and seemed to have little troubling putting away South Dakota State, building a lead that hit 18 on multiple occasions throughout the second half while limiting the underdogs to a low shooting percentage. The Terps led the Jackrabbits, 64-46, with under nine minutes to play, but that's when things turned around. South Dakota State went on a 19-6 run to trim Maryland's lead all the way down to five with three minutes remaining. It was a five-point lead when Melo Trimble fouled a 3-point shooter — George Marshall, a Chicago native — and fouled out of the game. Marshall hit all three free throws to make it 72-70 with 43 seconds left, but then he fouled out of the game moments later when he was whistled for an off-ball foul on Jake Layman. The controversial call might have changed the game.

Layman hit two free throws to make it a four-point edge for the Terps, and two more Layman free throws with 18 seconds left to make it a five-point game. But it wasn't over yet, Maryland again inexplicably fouling a 3-point shooter, leading to three free-throw makes for South Dakota State. After Jaylen Brantley split a pair from the line, the Jackrabbits had a chance to tie the game with a 3, but the ball stuck and they for some reason didn't use their one remaining timeout. Rasheed Sulaimon came away with a steal and a dunk to seal it for the Terps.

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Over the final eight minutes and 50 seconds of the game, Maryland was just 3-for-10 from the field and 0-for-5 from 3-point range, while South Dakota State was 6-for-10 from the field and 4-for-5 from 3-point range. The Terps went 9-for-10 from the free-throw line, while the Jackrabbits were 12-for-13.

Maryland shot 51.1 percent on the game, while South Dakota State shot just 40.7 percent. The Jackrabbits hit 10 3-pointers on the game, with the Terps hitting nine.

Layman had a huge performance, scoring 27 points on 7-for-11 shooting including 5-for-8 shooting from behind the 3-point line and 8-for-8 shooting from the free-throw line. Trimble finished with 19 points, and Jared Nickens had 14 points off the bench, hitting four 3s. Diamond Stone, who battled foul trouble, scored just four points.

Maryland advanced to the Round of 32 with the win. It will take on Hawaii on Sunday after the Warriors upset No. 4-seed California on Friday.

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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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.