Dearth of bluebloods leave blue-collar teams in control

When the Bruins and Jayhawks slid out of the poll on Monday, with Kansas ending its record run at 231 consecutive weeks, it marked the first time those four schools, along with Kentucky, had not been ranked since Dec. 18, 1961.

Mike Krzyzewski was a teenager, Roy Williams in grade school and John Calipari barely out of diapers.

Meanwhile, schools such as Gonzaga and Baylor that are not considered traditional bluebloods have developed into the modern-day version of them, led by popular coaches who have built a recruiting pipeline and are now winning enough to keep it flowing.

That deprived college hoops fans of what would have been two of the biggest games involving Top 25 teams this week — the Bears at No.

Baylor has had to postpone or cancel several games this season, beginning in November, when it withdrew from the Empire Classic after coach Scott Drew tested positive for COVID-19.

Loyola Chicago is back in the poll for the first time since 1985 at the expense of Missouri Valley rival Drake, which rattled off 18 straight wins to start the season before losing to Valparaiso to fall from the Top 25.

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