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Brad Underwood argues a call during the first half.

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CHAMPAIGN — A second loss in itself didn't guarantee Illinois would slip completely out of the Associated Press Top 25 when the new poll was announced late Monday morning.

The nature of that second loss? That's what mattered. Losing by 20 points to unranked Cincinnati, who then lost at home to an even more unranked Monmouth later in the week was certainly a blow to Illinois' résumé. The Illini were tops among teams receiving votes in a nominal No. 26 ranking.

Illinois (4-2) falling out of the AP Top 25 snaps a 23-week streak of being ranked. That now officially stands as tied for the seventh-longest streak in program history. The longest streak is 43 consecutive weeks from 1951-54.

The Illini will be back in action at 8 p.m. Monday against Notre Dame (3-2) in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at State Farm Center. Illinois will likely be shorthanded again, with CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein reporting that Andre Curbelo, Trent Frazier, Jacob Grandison and Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk are "highly unlikely" to play. Curbelo and Frazier are dealing with injuries, and Grandison and Bosmans-Verdonk are both dealing with illness.

Beat writer Scott Richey's ballot

1. Duke

2. Gonzaga

3. Purdue

4. Baylor

5. UCLA

6. Texas

7. Arizona

8. Kentucky

9. Kansas

10. Arkansas

11. Brigham Young

12. Villanova

13. Iowa State

14. Tennessee

15. Florida

16. Wisconsin

17. Seton Hall

18. Alabama

19. Memphis

20. Houston

21. Connecticut

22. Auburn

23. Indiana

24. Xavier

25. St. Bonaventure

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

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