JIM O’CONNELL, AP Basketball Writer
For the first time in more than eight years, Duke is nowhere to be seen in The Associated Press Top 25 — not near the top, not even at the bottom. This is the first time since the preseason poll of 2007-08 that the Blue Devils are not ranked.READ MORE: U Of M Establishes New Sexual Misconduct Policy For Employees, Students
Duke (15-6) has lost four of its last five, including home games with Notre Dame and Syracuse. Last week’s loss to Miami knocked them out from 24th, ending a run of 167 consecutive appearances in the men’s poll.
The Blue Devils still had a ways to go to catch UCLA, which put together a run of 221 consecutive polls from 1966-80. Kansas now has the longest run, 136 polls that began on Feb. 3, 2009, with Arizona next at 72 consecutive polls.
The Duke team that started the run featured five double-figure scorers — DeMarcus Nelson, Kyle Singler, Gerald Henderson, Jon Scheyer, Greg Paulus — and finished 28-6, losing to West Virginia in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Singler and Scheyer were the key players two years later when Duke won its fourth of five national championships.
STAYING POWER: Oklahoma starts its third week at No. 1, one week short of matching the longest stretch on top this season.
Michigan State held the No. 1 spot for four weeks. The other No. 1 teams this season were all there for two weeks: North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas.
Oklahoma has been No. 1 for a total of eight weeks, tying the Sooners with St. John’s and West Virginia for 27th place on the all-time list. UCLA is No. 1 among the No. 1s with 134 weeks.
BACK AGAIN: The two newcomers to this week’s poll — No. 24 Dayton and No. 25 South Carolina — have both been ranked earlier in the season.
Dayton (18-3) returns to the Top 25 on a six-game winning streak. The Flyers cracked the poll for one week then were out the last three.
South Carolina (19-2) was ranked for five straight weeks before falling out last week. The Gamecocks have won five of their last six, including the loss to Tennessee that knocked them out of the poll.
SO LONG: Duke wasn’t the only team to drop out this week as Notre Dame fell from No. 25. The Fighting Irish were ranked the first three polls of the season then fell out until last week. They lost to Syracuse last week before beating Wake Forest.READ MORE: AG Nessel Reissues Consumer Alerts Amid Flooding, Power Outages In Michigan
UP AND DOWN: Oregon, which swept Arizona and Arizona State last week, had the week’s biggest jump moving from 23rd to 16th.
The biggest drops were by Arizona and West Virginia — both lost one game last week and fell five places.
RANKED WINS: Iowa’s five wins over ranked teams still leads the way this season but five schools are just one behind.
Oklahoma, Providence, Syracuse, Virginia and Xavier all have four wins over ranked teams but Syracuse is the only one not currently in the Top 25.
CONFERENCE CALL: With Duke and Notre Dame falling from the ranks of the ranked, the Atlantic Coast Conference no longer has the top spot among the leagues.
The Big 12 and Big Ten have five ranked teams each, one more than the ACC. The Big East and Southeastern Conference are tied with three each and the Pac-12 has two.
DOUBLE RANKED GAMES: West Virginia is the only team to be involved in two games against fellow ranked teams this week.
On Monday, No. 2 North Carolina is at No. 19 Louisville. On Tuesday, No. 14 West Virginia travels to No. 13 Iowa State.
The rest of the double-ranked games will be Saturday: No. 3 Villanova at No. 11 Providence; No. 15 Baylor at West Virginia; No. 18 Purdue at No. 4 Maryland; No. 25 South Carolina at No. 8 Texas A&M.
2. North Carolina
8. Texas A & M
10. Michigan State
13. Iowa State
14. West Virginia
17. Miami (FL)
21. Wichita State
25. South Carolina
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