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Syracuse women’s basketball: Orange projected to finish 9th; Fair named All-ACC

Pre-season predictions time

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 12 Women’s Syracuse at Boston College Photo by Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team is expected to finish 9th in the ACC this year, according to this year’s preseason poll.

Standings for the Orange and the conference’s other 14 teams was done by the Blue Ribbon Panel, which is made up of the ACC’s 15 head coaches and a select group of voters. Syracuse moves up one spot compared to last year’s poll as coach Felisha Legette-Jack enters her second season with the program.

Syracuse ranks ahead of Clemson, Georgia Tech, Boston College, Wake Forest and Pittsburgh — all of which are teams the Orange will play eight times out of 18 total conference games. The Orange are ranked way ahead of the pack against those teams mentioned, but they are also notably behind eighth-ranked NC State.

That number will mean a lot when the spring comes and teams are selected for March Madness. Eight teams last season represented the ACC in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, which was the most out of any of the conferences. Syracuse fell to the Wolfpack in last year’s ACC Tournament, a loss which proved to be the nail in the coffin for the Orange’s NCAA Tournament chances.

Syracuse will also play twice against each of Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, two of the top-four ACC programs this year. The Orange will face the top-three projected teams four times and the top-five programs seven times.

Dyaisha Fair also received recognition on the panel’s preseason All-ACC Team. Fair was recently named to the preseason watch list for the 2024 Nancy Lieberman Award and will look to be a vital piece for the Orange in their 2023-2024 campaign.

The Orange finished 20-13 last season, including a 9-9 record against the ACC. Syracuse currently project to be the first team left out of the 2024 NCAA Tournament, according to ESPN.

Syracuse will host The College of St Rose on Tuesday for an exhibition game. The Orange officially kick off its upcoming season on November 7 in the JMA Wireless Dome against Lafayette.