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Syracuse WBB Bracketology: Orange Projected to Make NCAA Tournament as a 7-Seed

The Orange is a safe pick to reach the NCAA Tournament after earning a No. 23 ranking Monday and winning its second game in a row this weekend.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange women's basketball team is projected to receive a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament, according to ESPN Bracketologist Charlie Creme.

The Orange (17-4, 7-4) earned a No. 23 ranking in the AP Poll released on Monday, moving up two spots from last week.  Including Syracuse, six teams in the ACC cracked the top 25.

Syracuse got the marquee win it needed last Thursday by beating No. 13/11 North Carolina, after previously losing all seven games this season against top 25 teams. After a few close calls in big games, Syracuse finally closed out on a ranked win with 20 points from point guard Alexis Peterson.  Syracuse scored a season-low 18 field goals in the game, but took advantage of a Tar Heel offense that turned the ball over 24 times.

The Orange went 2-1 overall during the week, including a road loss to No. 9 Florida State and a road win against unranked Georgia Tech. Peterson, again, led the Orange in points against the Yellow Jackets with 14.  She's been Syracuse's leading scorer ten times this season, more than half of its games.

"We are still in a very good position," Quentin Hillsman said last week.  "I think what's happening now with these rankings and these polls is that our program is starting to get respect.  You don't lose a game and then they put you out now because they watch the games and they come to the games."

Syracuse faces Miami in the Carrier Dome on Thursday, the first of five games against unranked teams to end the season.  Last week, Hillsman said that ten conference wins in the ACC would guarantee the Orange a position in the NCAA Tournament.  The Orange can get that by going 3-2 to finish the regular season or through wins in the ACC Tournament.

"We've got a great chance to get to ten," Hillsman said.  "We've got a great chance to get the wins that we need. Our RPI is high. We're in the top 25 so I think we're in a good position."