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Duke, UNC, Kentucky all outside of men's AP Top 25 for first time since 1961

Cassandra Negley
·Writer
·2-min read

It’s a remarkable first for three men’s college basketball powerhouses.

Duke fell out of the Associated Press Top 25 rankings for the first time since Feb. 8, 2016, and with it came two other historic notes.

Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina are all outside of the Top 25 for the first time since Dec. 25, 1961. At the time, the poll was only comprised of the top 10 teams. Kentucky and Duke moved into the rankings with North Carolina and some combination of the three had been in the rankings ever since.

That’s a 59-year record. In all of the AP poll’s history spanning 1,213 polls, it’s just the 14th total time that the three are all unranked.

Duke’s drop also marks the first time since Dec. 27, 1982 that neither Duke nor North Carolina are in the rankings. Their streak spanned 702 consecutive weeks of rankings.

The Blue Devils (5-3, 3-1 ACC) were ranked as high as No. 6 this year, but lost to No. 20 Virginia Tech, 74-67, last Tuesday. They were ranked No. 19 in last week’s poll.

North Carolina (8-5, 3-3) was ranked as high as No. 16, but fell out before the 2021 calendar year. It’s also the first poll since Dec. 28, 1970, that doesn’t include a team from the state of North Carolina, per The State. That streak was 903 weeks of polls.

Kentucky (4-8, 3-2 SEC) has had a historically bad season. The Wildcats struggled to a 1-6 start, their worst since 1911, despite a top-ranked recruiting class.

Gonzaga and Baylor are currently ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski reacts on the sideline.
Mike Krzyzewski's Duke team fell out of the AP Top 25, marking a notable first. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)

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