The Duke Blue Devils can search and search, but they won't find themselves among the elite of college basketball for the first time since 1986.
In fact, they didn't even bother to look Monday at the Associated Press poll, said Mike Cragg, Duke's sports information director. The statistics already told the tale.
"It wasn't surprising," Cragg said. "When you're 9-6 and have lost four in a row, there's not a whole lot of teams in the poll like that."
With Coach Mike Krzyzewski out indefinitely because of back problems, Duke's run of 143 consecutive poll appearances, which began in December 1986, came to an end when the Blue Devils didn't get enough votes.
Massachusetts and Connecticut remained 1-2 for the second week in a row.
UCLA is fourth.
The Black Coaches Association said it has given up on working with the NCAA and will turn to outside groups for help in attacking what it considers to be inequities in college athletics.
In its first reaction to last week's NCAA convention, the association said its concerns were ignored and it had no other recourse but to seek help from other groups. The BCA said it would urge those groups to try to influence black athletes in their choice of schools.
Delegates at the NCAA convention in San Diego refused to back down from the push for reform and approved tougher eligibility standards for incoming athletes.
The BCA opposes using performance on standardized college entrance examinations as part of those standards, contending they are culturally biased.
Illinois State quarterback Michael Metzger's right foot was amputated after he was struck by a freight train. Metzger, 19, was an all-state pick at Southport High in Indianapolis, and played in one game for ISU last season. . . . Colorado State Coach Sonny Lubick interviewed with Miami Athletic Director Paul Dee on Sunday night for the vacant coaching job.
Oil Can Boyd, an animated and sometimes successful pitcher throughout the 1980s, has agreed to join the Chicago White Sox and is set to become the first prominent strikebreaker.
Boyd, 35, hasn't played in the majors since 1991. He spent 1994 in the Class A Northern League with the independent Sioux City Explorers, whose scouting director confirmed the deal.
About 50 Venezuelan baseball players met with union head Donald Fehr in Caracas, Venezuela, and said they were solidly behind the strike. Meanwhile, managers, coaches and trainers who work with replacement players might be eliminated from the union's benefits and licensing programs under a plan to be considered by the union.
Mighty Duck left wing Garry Valk, the team's third-leading scorer last season, is doubtful for the first two games because of a strained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Valk, who had 18 goals and 27 assists last season along with five game-winning goals, injured his knee during Sunday's practice.
Brendan Witt, the Washington Capitals' first pick in the 1993 entry draft, rejected the team's offer of $3.6 million for four years. The team will retain rights to the defenseman until June 1, when he will become available in the 1995 entry draft. If unsigned, the Capitals would receive the 11th choice in the second round of the 1995 entry draft as compensation.
Guenther Mader of Austria earned his 11th World Cup victory, capturing a men's super-giant slalom race at Kitzbuehel, Austria.
Mader was timed in 1 minute 21 52 seconds, only .03 seconds ahead of Peter Runggaldier of Italy.
Phil Niekro signed for a second season as manager of the Colorado Silver Bullets, the women's professional baseball team.
Rough seas off San Diego caused a cancellation of America's Cup racing. The Citizen's Cup Defender contest between Pact '95 and Team Dennis Conner was pushed back to Sunday.