Duke Basketball Falls Out of The Top 25 For The First Time in 11 years

Duke Basketball Falls Out of The Top 25 For The First Time in 11 years

Duke's Top 25 streak is over.

Saddled by its first four-game losing skid in 11 years, Duke fell out of The Associated Press poll Monday for the first time since the end of the 1995-96 season. The Blue Devils had been in the media poll for 200 straight weeks -- the second longest streak behind UCLA.

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The Bruins' run lasted 221 weeks, from the 1966-67 preseason poll to Jan. 8, 1980. North Carolina is third all-time with 172 straight weeks from the 1990-91 preseason poll to Jan. 17, 2000.

"If you do it for a long period of time, it means you've been good that long," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of his team's streak that began in the 1996-97 preseason poll. "We never bring it up. It's a nice stat thing."

UCLA and Memphis are now tied for the longest active streak at 34 straight weeks in the Top 25.

Duke was No. 8 two weeks ago before losing in the final seconds to Virginia and Florida State. The Blue Devils lost to then-No. 5 North Carolina 79-73 on Wednesday and fell 72-60 at Maryland on Sunday for their first four-game losing since Jan. 3-13, 1996.

"We travel a narrow road between winning and losing," Krzyzewski said. "We were in a position to win, you have to make sure the kids know that. They are doing a lot of things to put themselves in a position to win."

Duke received 150 points, falling just eight short of No. 25 Alabama.

The Blue Devils will try to end their slide Wednesday against Atlantic Coast Conference leader Boston College. The Eagles (18-6, 9-2) are finally back in the poll at No. 21 after falling out in week 3.

Florida remained a unanimous No. 1 for the second straight week, garnering all 72 first place votes.

Florida beat Georgia 71-61 on Wednesday and won at then-No. 20 Kentucky 64-61 on Saturday in front of a raucous record crowd of 24,465. It was the Gators' fifth straight victory over their rivals.

It had been 20 years since the Wildcats, college basketball's winningest program, lost five straight games to an opponent. Tennessee was the last to do it from 1975-77.

UCLA fell to fifth after splitting games this past week. The Bruins beat then-No. 19 Southern California 70-65 on Wednesday, but lost to West Virginia by the same score Saturday.

The Bruins had to fly across the country and play an early afternoon game. UCLA found itself down by 19 early in the second half before clawing back.

"I was really pleased with the way we fought back," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "Obviously it's a long way to come to get beat."

With UCLA's loss, Ohio State moved up to No. 2 -- its highest ranking since 1991.

Wisconsin and North Carolina also gained a spot, moving up to No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.

Texas A&M was No. 6, followed by Pittsburgh, Kansas, Memphis and Washington State.

The Cougars (21-4, 10-3 Pac-10) moved up four spots after beating then-No. 25 Stanford and California. Washington State is only a half-game behind first-place UCLA as the Cougars chase their first league title.

Nevada was No. 11, followed by Marquette, Butler, Georgetown, Oregon, Southern Illinois, Air Force, Oklahoma State, Arizona and Kentucky.

Georgetown made the biggest jump, moving up eight spots to No. 14 after convincing wins over Louisville and then-No. 11 Marquette. The Hoyas have won seven straight.

"We're getting better, and our guys definitely have a comfort level with how we want to skin the cat, so to say," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III after Saturday's win over Marquette. "We're more poised. A lot of times early in the season teams would make a run, and we'd stand around looking starry eyed."

Oregon fell two spots after splitting games with Arizona State and then-No. 24 Arizona. Southern Illinois moved up five spots to No. 16.

Boston College was followed by Southern California, West Virginia, Indiana and Alabama.

Besides Duke, Vanderbilt and Stanford also dropped out of the rankings.

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