Amid a current five-game win streak, the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (8-1) moved into the top-40 in the NCAA’s latest NET rankings and bumped up several spots in ESPN’s latest bracketology update released Tuesday morning.
Syracuse currently projects to be one of the eight-seeds in the 2024 NCAA Tournament, the highest tournament seeding the Orange have been projected to finish at this season and in the Felisha Legette-Jack era.
The Orange are one of ten teams in the ACC projected to make the tournament, according to ESPN’s Charlie Creme. For context, eight ACC teams ended up making last year’s tournament with Syracuse falling just short by the end of the 2022-2023 season.
The program is looking for its first NCAA Tournament appearance since the 2020-2021 season.
Compared to last season, Syracuse got off to a much stronger start — both in terms of number of wins and margin of victory. The Orange’s margin of victory so far this season (21.1) is the fourth-highest in the ACC behind Notre Dame (projected four-seed), NC State (projected one-seed) and Virginia Tech (projected five-seed).
Syracuse’s lone loss this season was by two points (83-81) against then-#20 Maryland on the road. Since that loss, Syracuse remains undefeated with consecutive wins over Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Alabama, Northeastern and Ohio. The Orange recently defeated its last two opponents — the Huskies and Bobcats — by at least 20 points.
The winning streak led to Syracuse most recently placing 38th overall in the NET rankings, per the latest update released on Monday. The Orange’s NET ranking is currently the seventh-best in the ACC behind Notre Dame (5th), NC State (10th), Louisville (20th), Virginia Tech (25th), Duke (32nd) and Miami (37th). Keep in mind that Syracuse finished 57th overall in NET last season, and that was after sitting in the 60-70 range for most of last season.
The Orange will look to maintain their current success in their bracketology and NET standings by wrapping up their remaining two non-conference opponents. Syracuse returns to the court Monday evening to face Cornell and concludes its non-conference slate on December 21 against Saint Francis (PA). Syracuse will look to end on a high note heading into its ACC slate, starting with a must-watch New Year’s Eve matchup at the JMA Wireless Dome versus Notre Dame.
For now, we can safely say the tournament buzz is real for the Orange this season.