Moving Up: Syracuse WBB Improves To No. 21/18 In Polls

USA TODAY Sports

The No. 18 spot in this week's USA Today Coaches Poll is the highest Syracuse ranking in either poll in team history. SU is No. 21 in this week's AP Top 25, up two spots from last week. So, what's next?

On Monday, the Syracuse Orange (21-3, 9-2) tied the highest ranking in school history.

On Tuesday, the team broke that record.

Before Monday's AP Poll was released, SU reached the No. 21 ranking only twice: in the AP Poll back on Feb. 11, 2008 and in last week's Coaches Poll. The Orange then advanced three positions to move to 18 in Tuesday's Coaches Poll.

Since last week's polls were released, the Orange went 2-0. SU defeated Georgetown 69-60 in D.C. on Tuesday night. On Saturday, the team blew out Pittsburgh 80-39.

By this point in the season, it's starting to feel like the movie Groundhog Day for me. Syracuse wins games. The Orange set a new record for wins through X number of games. The AP Poll comes out on Monday, and the Coaches Poll on the day after. Syracuse attains season/all-time high ratings.

So the question is, now that the team has re-written the school history books, can Syracuse become a major player on the national level? Well the simple answer is...it depends.

The women's game is a bit different from the men. We've heard so much about the "parity" in men's college basketball, and rightly so. The teams in the top five constantly shuffle and six different teams have won the past six championships. "Cinderella teams" like George Mason and more recently Butler and VCU ruin office pools seemingly every year.

Now, of course there are upsets and suprises in the women's game, but to a lesser extent. Only seven teams have a championship win since 1995. Two of those teams (UConn and Tennessee) have 12 of those 18 championships.

There are the elite teams, who almost never falter, and then everyone else far below. Just take a look at the top four teams in the AP rankings. The top four in the AP men's poll have a combnied 12 losses. And on the women's side...only five.

In the last five tournaments, the three-seeded 2009 Louisville Cardinals team is the only one outside the top two seeds to reach the final. Final Fours are routinely a collection of one and two seeds. Last year, all four one seeds made it.

Now this is certainly not a knock on Syracuse. Dr. Daryl Gross would be happy just to have this conversation given the state of the team in the early 2000s. But this is the reality of what Syracuse is up against. Having the 6th ranked freshman class and No. 10 rated recruiting class are signs pointing to the right direction.

But, Syracuse has essentially been the little brother (or sister) to UConn and Notre Dame in the Big East. Will there be a different dynamic with Duke or Maryland in the ACC?

As the saying goes, "stay tuned".

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