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Syracuse women’s basketball: ACC Rankings and AP Poll Update for January 14th

Syracuse faces a challenging path ahead as we take our latest look at the NCAAW landscape.

Syndication: The Courier-Journal Scott.Utterback/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (13-4, 4-2) officially completed a third of its conference schedule this week with just 12 games left to go before the 2023 ACC Tournament. It feels like it was only yesterday when we began previewing this season for the Orange.

Not to pat myself on the back here, but my aforementioned schedule preview back in September appears to be holding up when it comes to Syracuse’s upcoming slate. As you’ll see, the games against the ACC are going to get only more difficult here during his mid-January to early-February stretch.

As always, here’s our weekly look at your Syracuse Orange, the rest of the ACC, and the broader NCAAW world.

The Orange this week and next week

Note: All team records include games from up to and including Thursday, January 12.

Syracuse secured its third-straight win and second-straight ACC road win in its last two games. The Orange first traveled to Clemson (11-7, 2-4) to defeat the Tigers by 14 points on Sunday before holding off the Eagles (13-6, 3-3) in an 83-73 victory in Boston Thursday evening.

This week, the Orange will face off against two top-tier ACC opponents. Syracuse will first host #5 Notre Dame (13-2, 4-1) Sunday afternoon in the Dome, the highest-ranking ACC program in the country and the toughest opponent ‘Cuse has faced so far this season. After that, Syracuse will hope to keep its momentum on the road alive on Thursday night, when the team will travel for an away matchup against Georgia Tech (9-8, 0-6).

The TNIAAM Orange Player of the Week

This week’s co-winners: Dyaisha Fair and Dariauna Lewis

Sorry, but I had to cop out with this week’s selection. It’s almost impossible to choose between Fair’s excellence on offense and Lewis’ production on defense.

Let’s start with Fair, whose scoring efficiency continues to improve throughout the season after an inefficient start. Against BC and Clemson, she averaged 26 points and 4 assists for a Syracuse team averaging 87 points per game in its last two games. While the overall efficiency isn’t top-tier, she did shoot 8/17 from three and made 16 free throws on 21 attempts (!!!) this past week.

With that said, it was hard to ignore Lewis’ back-to-back double-doubles while serving as a passing hub on offense and an interior force defensively. She stuffed the stat sheet across the board with averages of 11.5 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 63% from the field on 16 attempts this week. The best positive sign from Lewis has been her willingness to play within the flow of the offense, especially off the ball, where she can flash her offensive rebounding skills and underrated passing for a forward.

It was a close contest this week between Fair and Dariauna Lewis, but it’s hard to overlook Fair’s production this week, especially her improved efficiency as a scorer. Against Clemson and BC, Fair averaged 26 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2.5 steals per game while shooting 8/17 from three and 16/21 from the free throw line.

TNIAAM Orange Player of the Week tracker: Dyaisha Fair x2, Teisha Hyman x1, Georgia Woolley x1, Dariauna Lewis x1

ACC power rankings and a look around the conference

Note: All team records include games from up to and including Thursday, January 12.

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 1 1 5-0 15-1
Florida State 2 2 5-1 16-3
Notre Dame 3 3 4-1 13-2
Syracuse 4 8 4-2 13-4
Louisville 5 4 4-2 13-6
Miami 6 11 4-2 11-6
Virginia Tech. 7 T-5 4-3 14-3
NC State 8 7 3-3 13-4
Boston College 9 9 3-3 13-6
North Carolina 10 13 2-3 11-5
Virginia 11 T-5 2-4 13-4
Clemson 12 10 2-4 11-7
Wake Forest 13 12 2-5 11-7
Georgia Tech. 14 14 0-5 7-9
Pittsburgh 15 15 0-6 9-8

Miami and North Carolina both sit on multi-game win streaks after bouncing back from a slow start in conference play, while four teams currently sit with losing streaks of three games or more (including Virginia, who’s lost three in a row after starting off 13-1). Meanwhile, Duke continues its hot start this year with 10 straight wins, with only one neutral-court defeat as the team’s only loss all season.

Heading into the weekend, here are some games to watch for this week with the ACC programs:

  • Louisville (13-6, 4-2) @ Florida State (16-3, 5-1) on Sunday early-afternoon
  • #7 Notre Dame (13-2, 4-1) @ Syracuse (13-4, 4-2) on Sunday early-afternoon
  • #11 NC State (13-4, 3-3) @ #22 North Carolina (11-5, 2-3) on Sunday late-afternoon
  • Miami (11-6, 4-2) @ #11 NC State (13-4, 3-3) on Thursday evening
  • #16 Duke (15-1, 5-0) @ #22 North Carolina (11-5, 2-3) on Thursday night

Latest changes in the AP poll

Note: AP top-25 poll information includes games from up to Monday, January 9.

The top-three in the AP Poll remains the same, but we’ve got changes across the board, including two new teams in the top-five.

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 16-0 700
Stanford 2 2 16-1 671
Ohio State 3 3 17-0 645
UConn 4 5 13-2 587
LSU 5 7 16-0 582
Indiana 6 6 14-1 574
Notre Dame 7 4 12-2 542
UCLA 8 12 14-2 457
Maryland 9 13 13-3 437
Utah 10 8 14-1 427
NC State 11 10 13-3 370
Iowa 12 16 12-4 352
Virginia Tech. 13 9 13-3 342
Arizona 14 15 14-2 341
Iowa State 15 11 10-3 307
Duke 16 19 14-1 281
Michigan 17 14 13-3 261
Baylor 18 23 12-3 253
Oklahoma 19 17 12-2 212
Gonzaga 20 20 16-2 197
Oregon 21 18 12-4 144
North Carolina 22 22 10-5 126
Kansas 23 21 12-2 99
Illinois 24 NR 14-3 42
Villanova 25 NR 14-3 35

The top of the ACC (Notre Dame, NC State, and Virginia Tech) all fell in this week’s poll amid slow starts in conference play, while the middle of the conference pack (Duke, North Carolina, Miami, and Florida State) continue to remain in the AP poll conversation. Five ACC teams made this week’s AP poll, while another three earned honorable mention consideration.

Looking ahead to March Madness, the theme of this year’s women’s college basketball season is parody across the board. Per ESPN’s latest bracket, half of the projected top-16 seeds lost this past week. The ACC still leads the way with nine programs projected to be in the 2023 NCAA Tournament.

Strap in this week. It’s only going to get crazier from here.