What went up has now come down.
The Gophers men's basketball team, which had been ranked in the Associated Press poll since Nov. 26 and spent 11 consecutive weeks in the national Top 25, dropped out in the latest poll released Monday.
After six losses in eight games, the streak ended for the Gophers, who also dropped out of the coaches poll. The Gophers were ranked No. 18 in both polls last week but lost both their games, at Michigan State on Wednesday and at home to Illinois on Sunday.
The Gophers first entered the AP poll in late November at No. 21 after defeating Memphis and Stanford at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas, joining the coaches poll at the same spot a week later. Minnesota advanced steadily to No. 8 in the country -- the highest the Gophers had been in the Tubby Smith era -- in the AP poll on Jan. 7 after winning their first two Big Ten games. But after a 3-0 start in the conference, the Gophers have struggled, sinking consistently in the polls before dropping out.
The Gophers received 80 votes in the AP poll, the most among non-ranked teams, and 28 votes in the coaches poll, the fifth most of any non-ranked team.
Williams will practice
Smith said on Monday morning's Big Ten teleconference that Rodney Williams -- who didn't play in Sunday's 57-53 loss to Illinois -- would receive treatment for his tweaked left shoulder and would practice Tuesday.
Williams said Sunday night after the game that he would "definitely" play in Thursday's home game against No. 20 Wisconsin, which takes on even more urgency now that the Gophers (17-7, 5-6 Big Ten) have dropped below .500 in conference play.