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Syracuse pulls off third top-10 win for first time since 2009-10

The Orange make a habit of beating top 10 teams, but they’re usually top 10 teams as well.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange’s thrilling 78-75 victory on Wednesday night was awesome for a whole lot of reasons, the most of which being that it was SU’s third top-10 upset of the regular season.

Along with the Duke Blue Devils (No. 10), the Orange have also upset the No. 6 Florida State Seminoles and No. 9 Virginia Cavaliers at the Carrier Dome this season. They also just missed out on claiming the pelt of No. 8 Louisville too last week, falling 76-72 in overtime.

Syracuse hasn’t pulled this off in the regular season since 2009-10, when they also beat three ranked teams: North Carolina (No. 6), Georgetown (No. 7) and Villanova (No. 8). That said, the Orange were also the higher ranked team in the latter two games. This year, all three upsets have occurred with SU as an unranked squad.

In terms of total top-10 upsets (not just regular season), Syracuse managed to do it three times in 2012-13 and four in 2002-03. If we’re just looking at regular season occurrences, this is the first time the Orange have ever pulled off three regular season upsets of top-10 teams.

As has been the case repeatedly for this program since last season, we’re in uncharted territory. Earning a third big upset, even if all at home, might just be the final piece of another unlikely NCAA Tournament berth.

That said, the work’s not done yet. Let’s see what Sunday’s matchup with Louisville brings.