Big Ten

Wisconsin slays the giant, upsets No. 1 overall seed Villanova to advance to Sweet Sixteen

Wisconsin slays the giant, upsets No. 1 overall seed Villanova to advance to Sweet Sixteen

Wisconsin's unfavorable No. 8 seed set up a massive challenge against No. 1 overall seed Villanova in the second round.

Well, challenge met.

The Badgers advanced to their fourth straight Sweet Sixteen with a gargantuan upset of the defending national champions Saturday afternoon, taking down the Wildcats by a 65-62 score.

Wisconsin seniors Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes, veterans of the program's back-to-back Final Four runs, provided the engine for this upset, combing for 36 points and hitting the game's biggest baskets down the stretch.

Despite a four-point lead at halftime after a hot-shooting first 20 minutes, the Badgers trailed by seven with five and a half minutes to play.  But the Badgers rattled off seven straight from there, Koenig tying the game at 57 with a triple with three and a half minutes remaining.

After a Villanova free throw, Ethan Happ got a running bucket to beat the shot clock and put Wisconsin in front by a point, the Badgers' first lead since four and a half minutes into the second half. The Wildcats tied the game by splitting a pair of free throws at the other end, only for Koenig to nail another huge 3-pointer inside of two minutes to play. Villanova's Jalen Brunson cut the lead to one with a bucket, and after Koenig missed a 3-point try, Villanova turned the ball over with a travel in the final minute.

But things quickly looked like they were going to spiral out of control for Wisconsin when Koenig was trapped at halfcourt and turned the ball over when he tried to find Hayes with a pass, Hayes then fouling and sending Donte DiVincenzo to the free-throw line with just a handful of seconds left. But DiVincenzo split his free throws, only managing to tie the game. Hayes instantly redeemed himself at the other end, getting an up-and-under basket to give the Badgers a two-point lead with 11.4 seconds left.

Josh Hart had the ball stripped away at the other end, Vitto brown hit a free throw, and Wisconsin clinched its massive upset.

This is the second straight trip to the Sweet Sixteen for Greg Gard, in just his second season as the team's head coach. It's the fourth straight for the program and fourth for a senior class that has created a remarkable legacy in Madison.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


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.