Big Ten

Two from Northwestern, two from Illini taken on Day 3 of NFL Draft

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Two from Northwestern, two from Illini taken on Day 3 of NFL Draft

Two Northwestern players and two Illinois players were selected on Day 3 of the NFL Draft.

Northwestern defensive end Dean Lowry and superback Dan Vitale were drafted in the fourth and sixth rounds, respectively, giving the Wildcats a pair of draftees for the second straight year after safety Ibraheim Campbell and quarterback Trevor Siemian were drafted in 2015.

Lowry went at pick No. 137 to the Green Bay Packers, and Vitale was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 197.

After three Cats were drafted in 2006, no Northwestern product heard his name called until 2010, when three more were drafted. Two Cats were drafted in 2012 before the selections of Campbell and Siemian last year.

Illinois defensive end Jihad Ward became the first Illini drafted since 2013 when he was selected in the second round Friday night. Saturday, two more Illinois products were picked, with offensive lineman Ted Karras going to the New England Patriots at pick No. 221 and safety Clayton Fejedelem going to the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 235.

The Illini went two years without seeing a player selected in the NFL Draft, but the three-player draft class this year gives Illinois yet another featuring multiple players. At least three Illini went in the NFL Draft for five straight years from 2009 to 2013.

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.