Big Ten

Top-seeded Kansas too much for Michigan State as Spartans bounced from NCAA tournament

Top-seeded Kansas too much for Michigan State as Spartans bounced from NCAA tournament

Michigan State trailed top-seeded Kansas by just a point with about 12 minutes to play in Sunday's second-round NCAA tournament game.

By the time the clock ran out, the Spartans were down 20.

The Jayhawks blew out the Spartans over the final 12 minutes in this one, eliminating Tom Izzo's team from the Big Dance with a 90-70 decision in Tulsa.

For Izzo, whose teams typically run deep into March, it's back-to-back eliminations in the tournament's opening weekend.

Kansas looked like it would run away early, breaking away from a 27-all tie with a 13-2 run to grab an 11-point edge late in the first half. But Michigan State managed to get the gap down to just five by halftime thanks to a Joshua Langford 3-pointer and three Miles Bridges free throws to close out the opening 20 minutes, during which the Jayhawks shot 50 percent from the field and the Spartans splashed home five triples.

Kansas' lead was at eight in the early stages of the second half when Michigan State went on an 11-4 run to get within a point at 54-53 with about 12 minutes to go. But the Jayhawks exploded from there, using a 13-4 run to regain a double-digit advantage and then continuing to pour it on. After Michigan State got within one, Kansas held a 36-17 scoring advantage and cruised to a blowout victory and a Sweet Sixteen berth.

The Spartans' freshman stars did come to play, Bridges finishing with a team-high 22 points and Nick Ward and Langford scoring 13 and 10, respectively.

The Jayhawks shot 53.1 percent on the game and got big performances from Josh Jackson and Frank Mason III, who scored 23 and 20 points, respectively.

Michigan State has now failed to reach the Sweet Sixteen in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2007, a fact that shows how perennially successful Izzo's teams have been. The Spartans reached four straight Sweet Sixteens from 2012 to 2015.

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.

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.