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College Basketball Rankings: Illini Nearly Disappear, Ohio St. Falls To No. 7 In Coaches Poll

The Illinois Fighting Illini have nearly entirely disappeared from the Top 25 USAToday / Coaches Poll while the Big Ten front runner, Ohio State, finds itself slipping out of the top five.

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The latest numbers of the USAToday / Coaches Poll has the once-vaunted Ohio St. Buckeyes (13-2) falling from No. 2 to No. 7 after their New Years Eve loss to the No. 12 Indiana Hoosiers (13-1). Only four undefeated teams remain in the Coaches Poll Top 25, led by the No. 1 Syracuse Orange (15-0).

Ohio St. is not the only team sliding big in the rankings. In addition to the Louisville Cardinals (12-2) falling from No. 4 to No. 10, the Illinois Fighting Illini (12-3) fell from a 27th-best 36 points last week to a nearly-forgotten 1 point in the first week of 2012.

The Illini have lost three of their last five games, falling from 10-0 to 12-3. Once ranked as high as No. 19 in the Coaches Poll, the Illlini will begin 2012 with a tour of the Big Ten Conference, hoping to regain their recent prowess.

For more breaking news and updates on the 2011 College Basketball Rankings, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago or drop by SB Nation's College Basketball hub.