The latest AP poll is out, and the Big Ten makes up nearly a third of the top 10.
Maryland moved up to No. 2, Iowa moved up to No. 4 and Michigan State moved up to No. 8 when the newest batch of top-25 rankings were released Monday afternoon.
The Terps, up from No. 4 and receiving 13 first-place votes, are on a four-game winning streak and sit at 21-3 overall and 10-2 in the conference after wins last week over Nebraska and Purdue. Maryland has an odd non-conference game against Bowie State this week before a game against Wisconsin this weekend.
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The Hawkeyes, up from No. 5 and receiving 11 first-place votes, sit alone in first place in the Big Ten with a 19-4 overall record and a 10-1 league mark. Iowa picked up wins over Penn State and Illinois this week and has a big game on the docket this week against Indiana before a weekend matchup with Minnesota. The Hawkeyes have lost just once since mid-December: two weeks ago to the aforementioned Terps.
The Spartans, up form No. 10, are back on track, on a four-game winning streak after that three-game losing streak. Michigan State is 20-4 overall and 7-4 in the Big Ten following a big win over the weekend at Michigan. This week brings two huge matchups against Purdue and Indiana.
Elsewhere in the top 25, Purdue stayed at No. 18 after losing over the weekend at Maryland. The Boilermakers are 19-5 overall and 7-4 in league play and this week tangle with both teams from the Great Lakes State, Michigan State and Michigan.
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 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.