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Where does Syracuse’s 2003 team rank among last 33 NCAA champions?

Uh, 21st seems pretty low if you ask me, but what do you think?

Anthony and teammates celebrate
The 2003 Syracuse team celebrates their title
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

We know Syracuse Orange fans probably think the 2003 National Championship team is the best team ever, but it seems like that Athlon Sports doesn’t share that opinion. Fresh on the heels of North Carolina’s victory, Athlon released their ranking of the last 33 National Champions.

You might expect to see a Duke Blue Devils team at the top, but I thought the 1991 team which ended UNLV’s unbeaten run would get that nod. Instead it was the 1992 Duke squad that edged out Rick Pitino’s 1996 Kentucky Wildcats team. None of us will complain about that team being denied any additional accolades, but what about our Orange?

Athlon’s got them down at 21st (huh?) right behind that 1991 Duke team (double huh?). It appears the rankings are ignoring records and simply going on the writer’s opinion of the squads. If that’s the case, where would you place that Syracuse team? We know that it didn’t feature a ton of NBA players, but Carmelo Anthony, Hakim Warrick, and Gerry McNamara were All-American players in college. That trio was good enough that it would keep the Orange right there with a number of teams listed ahead of them.

As I look at the list, you can make a good argument that the Orange should be higher than the 2008 Kansas Jayhawks, but do you say that’s as high as Syracuse should go? Besides the Orange and those ‘91 Blue Devils, I think this list has the 1986 Louisville Cardinals too low and the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats way too high.

What do you think? While you think about your response, enjoy this