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Archive for Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Duke falls out of poll

February 13, 2007

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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.

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 ACC) 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.

UCLA fell to fifth after splitting games this past week.

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, Memphis, Kansas and Washington State.

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