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Syracuse women’s basketball: ACC Rankings and AP Poll Update for December 23rd

How the women’s basketball landscape is looking heading into the new year.

Syndication: Journal-Courier Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

It’s that time of the year when the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (10-2, 1-0) gets a little holiday break before returning to ACC action.

So, what better way to take one final look at Syracuse and how the team stacks up compared to the rest of the ACC, and what else is going on in the NCAAW?

We’ve got no time to waste, so let’s get to it.

The Orange this week and next week

Note: All team records include games from up to and including Thursday, December 22.

Let’s start off with how the Orange looked since our last update from a little over a week ago.

The good news: Syracuse went 2-0 this past week, first by winning its ACC debut versus Wake Forest 67-58 on Sunday afternoon before taking care of business by 23 points versus Albany Tuesday morning. Both wins were huge for the Orange in different ways. The dub versus Albany extended Syracuse’s record at home to 9-0 and 7-0 versus in-state opponents (this includes the exhibition game versus Le Moyne), while the Wake Forest win gave the Orange its first NET top-100 win of the season.

The bad news: the going gets way tougher from here.

Syracuse will have a little over a week-long break before facing off in back-to-back potentially season-defining games. First, the Orange will matchup versus Louisville (10-4, 1-0), who recently earned honorable mention consideration for the latest AP poll and was voted by the conference’s Blue Ribbon Panel as the favorite to win the ACC. Three days later on New Year’s Day, Syracuse kicks off the second half of its season with a return to the Dome to face #7 NC State (11-1, 1-0).

Syracuse’s next three games after the NC State contest are all winnable, but the Orange’s next two games will either be great resume boosters or an alarming wake-up call.

The TNIAAM Orange Player of the Week

New TNIAAM honor alert! Moving forward, it’s time to highlight who had the best performance of the week from your own Syracuse Orange.

This week’s winner: Dyaisha Fair

Versus Wake Forest and Albany, Fair averaged 25.5 points per game and served as the engine for the Orange’s offense, especially against the Demon Deacons’ hard-nosed defense. More impressively, she shot 4/10 from three, 13-15 from the foul line, and nearly 46% from the field overall during this two-game stretch. It’s been a great season for Fair, who continues to make a name for herself with her new team.

(Honorable mention: Asia Strong had two really strong performances this past week. Statistically (14.0 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and 50% from the field the past two games), Strong had just as good of a case, playing excellent off the bench versus Wake Forest and catching fire in the second half versus Albany.)

ACC power rankings and a look around the conference

Note: All team records include games from up to and including Thursday, December 22.

Here are the latest standings in the ACC:

2022-2023 ACC Women’s Basketball Standings

ACC Team Current Conference Ranking Last Week's Conference Ranking Conf. Record Overall Record
ACC Team Current Conference Ranking Last Week's Conference Ranking Conf. Record Overall Record
Duke T-1 T-3 1-0 11-1
NC State T-1 5 1-0 11-1
Notre Dame 3 T-6 1-0 10-1
Florida State 4 T-3 1-0 12-2
Syracuse 5 T-8 1-0 10-2
Louisville 6 T-11 1-0 10-4
Virginia 7 1 1-1 12-1
Virginia Tech. 8 2 1-1 11-1
Boston College 9 15 1-1 11-4
North Carolina 10 T-6 0-0 9-2
Georgia Tech. 11 T-8 0-1 9-3
Clemson 12 10 0-1 9-4
Miami T-13 T-11 0-1 7-5
Pittsburgh T-13 13 0-1 7-5
Wake Forest 15 14 0-2 9-4

There are no games for any of the ACC teams until next Thursday (Dec. 29). That day, there are some absolutely great games to watch for with conference play officially kicking off for the ACC:

  • #5 Notre Dame (10-1, 1-0) @ Miami (7-5, 0-1) on Thursday evening
  • #8 Virginia Tech. (11-1, 1-1) @ Clemson (9-4, 0-1) on Thursday evening
  • Georgia Tech. (9-3, 0-1) @ Virginia (12-1, 1-1) on Thursday night
  • Syracuse (10-2, 1-0) @ Louisville (10-4, 1-0) on Thursday night
  • Florida State (12-2, 1-0) @ #6 North Carolina (9-2, 0-0) on Thursday night
  • Duke (11-1, 1-0) @ #7 NC State (11-1, 1-0) on Thursday night

Latest changes in the AP poll

Note: AP top-25 poll information includes games from up to Monday, December 19.

This week saw our least amount of movement in the AP top 25 this season, but there are some important things to note with conference play for all teams looming.

For context, here is the latest AP top 25 from earlier this week:

NCAA Women’s Basketball Latest AP Poll

Team This Week's Ranking Last Week's Ranking Overall Record Points
Team This Week's Ranking Last Week's Ranking Overall Record Points
South Carolina 1 1 11-0 700
Stanford 2 2 11-1 672
Ohio State 3 3 11-0 627
Indiana 4 4 11-0 619
Notre Dame 5 5 9-1 594
North Carolina 6 7 9-1 529
NC State 7 8 11-1 514
Virginia Tech. 8 6 10-1 481
UConn 9 9 8-2 470
LSU 10 11 12-0 422
UCLA 11 10 11-1 420
Utah 12 13 10-0 372
Iowa 13 12 9-3 370
Iowa State 14 14 8-2 341
Maryland 15 15 9-3 296
Oregon 16 T-16 9-1 280
Arkansas 17 21 13-0 256
Arizona 18 20 9-1 217
Michigan 19 19 10-1 210
Kansas 20 22 10-0 187
Creighton 21 T-16 8-2 133
Gonzaga 22 23 10-2 114
Oklahoma 23 24 9-1 86
Baylor 24 18 8-3 67
St. John's 25 NR 11-0 27

24 of the 25 teams from last week’s poll remained in the AP top 25, with only Villanova falling out and St. John’s taking its place. Baylor and Creighton each fell by at least five spots, while only Arkansas improved by more than two spots. Teams receiving honorable mention consideration included Marquette (24 points), Virginia (21 points), and Louisville (20 points).

The biggest story: who’s the most dominant conference this season?

The answer: it depends.

The ACC leads all conferences with the most representation in the AP top 10 with four teams, two more than the second-place SEC and Big Ten. However, if you go by the top 25, the ACC is tied with the Big 12 for the most teams, with the Big Ten (six programs) and Pac-12 (five programs) taking up about half of the AP poll. With that said, expect ACC teams like Virginia and Louisville to sneak their way into the top 25 within the next week or two.