We already know how this thing is going to end up, don’t we?
In case you weren’t aware, the Syracuse Orange (8-1) have already started to receive votes in both the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Polls (2 in the former this week, 10 in the latter). Jim Boeheim’s club has a solid win over Maryland at home and a decent win on a neutral against UConn.
With a very winnable — albeit slightly challenging — non-conference tilt remaining, the Orange will be favored in every game from here on out until ACC play (Syracuse is a one point favorite on Saturday versus Georgetown, per Ken Pom).
Now it might be entirely presumptuous to predict Syracuse to go 4-0 against Georgetown, (what time is it?) Buffalo, St. Bonaventure and Eastern Michigan. It might even be vacuous to suggest Syracuse will be ranked thereafter. But should that happen, it’s likely that Syracuse basketball will end up ranked in the ensuing weeks so we might as well prepare for the tried and true narratives that are sure to follow.
Syracuse hasn’t even played anybody!
Besides a road game at Georgetown and a neutral against Kansas, Syracuse hasn’t even left the state of New York!
Can we even count that as a win against UConn? It was a de facto home game!
All of those recycled lines are sure to be resurrected in the coming weeks among the college basketball cognoscenti. If these redundant lines have been said once, they’ve been said a million times. While these statements serve to be an objective point of view, they all attempt to devalue Syracuse and that caustic crab to say one thing.
Syracuse just isn’t that good.
And you know what? It might be true.
The 2017-2018 Syracuse Orange — Jim Boeheim’s youngest team in forever — has a chance to be ranked before conference play all-the-while being pegged as a bottom four team in the ACC. The Orange lost is assumed to be second-leading scorer to Seton Hall in the offseason and only senior to, well, nobody really knows and plugged the gaps with a bunch of freshmen and sophomores.
How impressive is that? Sure, you can point to a myriad of reasons to why Syracuse might not be that good. It might even be entirely fair.
But Boeheim is about to have Tyus Battle, a few guys barely classified in the top 100 in their respective recruiting classes and a group of freshmen that were afterthoughts... ranked.