The Syracuse Orange are red-hot after finishing out the non-conference play on a big winning streak, though granted they were expected to win each one.
The Orange took on Jacksonville on Monday, December 21st, winning comfortably 65-49. On Tuesday, December 29th, the Orange beat Drexel 83-62. The next day, Syracuse thrashed Howard 97-48, with the help of Cornelia Fondren scoring a triple-double, Syracuse's first in 31 seasons! Even more impressive, she recorded 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 steals, in just 28 minutes played. She also came off the bench against Howard. New Years Day saw the largest beat-down of the year for the Orange. Syracuse defeated a brand new UT-RGV team 91-32.
Syracuse finished conference play 10-3 but are 0-3 against ranked opponents. This does not bode well for the extremely high level of ACC play. There are currently four ranked ACC teams, and several other teams capable of becoming ranked at some point this year.
The Orange start the conference schedule on Sunday, January 3rd at 1:00 pm. Syracuse takes on No. 12 Duke at home. The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU. Duke leads the all-time head-to-head series 3-0 against Syracuse. Last season the Blue Devils made it to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament before losing to Maryland. Duke is having another very good season and will probably end up back in the Tournament. They are 11-3 entering conference play this season.