In the span of about seven hours, a whole lot changed in the world of Syracuse Orange basketball while also staying relatively the same.
You and I knew that Syracuse was on the level of the Duke Blue Devils, but the team's 91-89 overtime victory on Saturday not only reminded everyone that the Orange are for real but also set in motion the Next Great Rivalry© to come.
We knew that there was simply no way that the Orange, Arizona Wildcats and Wichita St. Shockers were all going to make it to the end of the season undefeated. And yet who knew that the same night SU told the nation that it was legitimate would be the same night No. 1 Arizona lost (to our old friends Cal, no less!), clearing the way for a Orange ascension to the No. 1 ranking.
The last time Syracuse was No. 1, they ran into a hot-shooting, ugly-looking Notre Dame Fighting Irish basketball team that upset them and ended their reign. Assuming the Orange grab the scepter, look who's waiting for them come Monday. Those God damn Irish.
Just like that, the cat's out of the bag. The Orange are no longer "lurking" at No. 2. Tyler Ennis is no longer "under the radar." C.J. Fair and Jerami Grant are no longer also-rans in the national and NBA discussion. And Syracuse basketball now has the biggest target possible on their back with plenty of would-be assassins lining up.
Welcome back to the top, Syracuse. No one expects you to stay here all year, but, let's see if we can hang out here for a while. We've got t-shirts to move.