The Syracuse Orange started the 2011-2012 season in the top five and they ended the season in the top five. For as many great teams and seasons that have come before this one, it's the first time a Syracuse basketball team has ever done that. In fact, it's the first time a Syracuse team went wire-to-wire in the top ten, let alone top five.
The Orange finished the year in the top five of every major ranking system, including the Coaches Poll (5th), Sagarin Ratings (4th), Massey Ratings (3rd) and RPI (2nd). Unless it's coming later, I don't think there's a post-tournament AP Poll.
As for just how impressive this year was, here's a look at every season in which Syracuse went wire-to-wire in the AP rankings, how they started, how they finished and the best ranking they achieved. It reminds you of three things...Syracuse was a dominant program before the Big East existed, the late 80's was our heyday (for now) and this regular season was the most impressive of them all.
Years in which Syracuse was ranked from the beginning to the end of the season...
|Season||Beginning Rank||Ending Rank||Top Rank|
|1977-78||No. 11||No. 18||No. 8|
|1979-80||No. 12||No. 6||No. 2|
|1985-86||No. 4||No. 9||No. 4|
|1986-87||No. 15||No. 10||No. 5|
|1987-88||No. 1||No. 9||No. 1|
|1988-89||No. 8||No. 7||No. 2|
|1989-90||No. 1||No. 6||No. 1|
|1990-91||No. 13||No. 7||No. 3|
|1993-94||No. 20||No. 15||No. 13|
|1994-95||No. 12||No. 25||No. 6|
|1999-00||No. 17||No. 16||No. 4|
|2004-05||No. 6||No. 11||No. 3|
|2010-11||No. 10||No. 12||No. 3|
|2011-12||No. 5||No. 2||No. 1|