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Syracuse women’s basketball: Weekly TNIAAM Awards and ACC Update for December 14th

Things are getting interesting as the end of non-con play nears.

NCAA Womens Basketball: ACC/SEC Challenge-Alabama at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

With finals week underway, the pause in action gives us no better time to check in on the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (8-1). The Orange enter this week sitting with five straight wins and hope to wrap up business in what’s left of the non-conference slate.

Meanwhile, Syracuse kicks off ACC play in approximately two weeks and there’s been some major shakeups in the conference standings.

Things are certainly getting interesting, so let’s take some time to break down the past week of Syracuse and NCAAW hoops.

The Orange this week and next week

Note: All team records include games from up to and including Wednesday, December 13.

In two pretty similar games, the Orange overcame slow starts and caught fire in the second half to beat Northeastern 79-57 at home and Ohio 82-62 most recently on the road. Back-to-back 20-point wins pushed the Orange to a top-40 NET ranking as of Monday, which is at least 25-30 spots higher compared to where the program was at last season.

Syracuse faces both its final two non-conference opponents next week at home. The Orange will first face off against Cornell Monday night in the battle for bragging rights in Upstate New York, followed by a Thursday night non-con finale versus Saint Francis (PA).

The TNIAAM Orange Player of the Week

This week’s winner: Saniaa Wilson

Wilson has quietly transformed into a solid backup scoring option for the Orange, and that clearly was seen in the team’s last two games. Wilson first scored 9 points this year on a perfect 4/4 shooting off the bench versus Northeastern, then followed that up with a career-high 18 points against Ohio on the road.

Dyaisha Fair still managed to average 17.5 points per game in Syracuse’s last two games, making her the most honorable of mentions this week. Most of Syracuse’s roster each had one good game this past week, but Wilson was both consistent and impactful. She’ll rightfully claim the TNIAAM Player of the Week nod this time around — the first of her career.

TNIAAM Player of the Week tracker: Dyaisha Fair x1, Georgia Woolley x1, Alaina Rice x1, Alyssa Latham x1, Saniaa Wilson x1

Bracketology Update

Note: Latest projections from ESPN’s Charlie Creme updated as of Tuesday, December 12.

In another consecutive week, Syracuse jumped up in ESPN’s latest bracketology update released Tuesday morning. The Orange currently sit as an eight-seed in Creme’s projection after previously ranking as a “Last Four Byes” program. Keep in mind that Syracuse started the preseason as the first “First Four Out” team.

Including Syracuse, a staggering 10 ACC teams are projected to make the 2024 NCAA Tournament — the most out of any conference this season. Syracuse’s two first ACC opponents — North Carolina and Notre Dame — both project to be solid tournament teams even with slow starts this season.

The rest of the ACC teams with guaranteed tournament seeding in the updated bracketology include NC State (one-seed), Virginia Tech (five-seed), Louisville (five-seed), Miami (seven-seed), Florida State (seven-seed) and Clemson (12-seed). Duke (Last Four In) and Virginia (First Four Out) sit along the tournament bubble.

ACC power rankings and a look around the conference

Note: All team records include games from up to and including Wednesday, December 13.

Syracuse is one of five ACC teams with win streaks of five or more games — the others include NC State (10 wins in a row), Miami (8), Notre Dame (7) and Louisville (6). Clemson secured the first conference win of the season with a 16-point home victory over Duke.

Here are the updated conference standings as of Wednesday night:

Updated 2023-2024 ACC Women’s Basketball Standings

ACC Team Current Conference Ranking Last Week Conference Ranking Conf. Record Overall Record
ACC Team Current Conference Ranking Last Week Conference Ranking Conf. Record Overall Record
Clemson 1 12 1-0 6-4
NC State 2 1 N/A 10-0
Miami 3 2 N/A 8-0
Louisville 4 3 N/A 10-1
Syracuse 5 T-4 N/A 8-1
Notre Dame 6 T-4 N/A 7-1
Virginia T-7 T-6 N/A 7-2
Virginia Tech. T-7 7 N/A 7-2
Florida State T-9 T-6 N/A 7-3
Georgia Tech. T-9 T-8 N/A 7-3
North Carolina 11 T-8 N/A 6-4
Boston College 12 T-13 N/A 7-5
Pittsburgh 13 T-13 N/A 5-5
Wake Forest 14 15 N/A 3-7
Duke 15 T-8 0-1 6-4

Here are some notable ACC games to watch for this week:

  • #10 Louisville (10-1) @ #17 UConn (6-3) on Saturday (12 pm EST, FOX)
  • Georgia Tech (7-3) @ Georgia (7-2) on Saturday (1:30 pm EST, SEC Network+)
  • #24 Miami (8-0) @ #10 Baylor (7-0) on Saturday (5 pm EST, Big 12/ESPN+)
  • #25 North Carolina (6-4) @ Oklahoma (6-3) on Tuesday (9:30 pm EST, ESPN2)
  • Washington (10-0) @ #18 Louisville (10-1) on Wednesday (7:00 pm EST, ACC Network)