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3-game losing streak knocks Michigan State Spartans out of AP Top 25 men's basketball poll

Michigan State forward Malik Hall, right, drives against Michigan forward Isaiah Livers in the first half of their Big 10 game in Ann Arbor on Saturday. (AP photo)

By JOHN MARSHALL
AP Basketball Writer
The NCAA initial rankings had little impact at the top of the AP Top 25, but a three-game losing streak knocked preseason No. 1 Michigan State out of the poll.
Baylor remained No. 1 in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll released Monday, two days after being the top overall seed in the NCAA Division I Basketball Committee’s preliminary rankings. The Bears received 48 first-place votes from a 64-person media panel.
Gonzaga remained at No. 2 and received 15 first-place votes despite being the No. 3 overall seed behind Kansas in the NCAA rankings released Saturday.
The Jayhawks had one first-place vote and San Diego State, the lone remaining undefeated team in Division I, stayed at No. 4 after being slotted as the No. 1 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament.
The biggest change: Preseason No. 1 Michigan State dropped out of the poll from No. 16, thanks to a three-game losing streak.
The Spartans have struggled with Joshua Langford out because of a foot injury and star Cassius Winston grieving after his brother was killed just before the season started.
Michigan State lost to rival Michigan on Saturday to become the first team since Kentucky in 2013-14 to drop out of the poll after being the preseason No. 1.
“We’ve been in every game but one,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “And yet, we get close like that, cut big leads … it’s almost like we go brain dead then, and that’s got to change.”