clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Syracuse women’s basketball: Weekly TNIAAM Awards and ACC Update for December 20th

The new year is approaching for Syracuse, and so is the ACC madness.

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

Just one game in the non-conference slate remains for the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (9-1), who remain unbeaten over the last month.

Syracuse has won its last six games dating back to November 19, when the team’s upset bid versus Maryland fell just short on the road. The fast start has put the Orange right in the thick of postseason projections at just the right time with ACC play beginning on New Year’s Eve.

Here’s your week’s recap of the Orange and the rest of the NCAAW:

The Orange this week and next week

Note: All team records include games from up to and including Tuesday, December 19.

In a surprising turnaround, Syracuse stormed back after being down as much as 14 points to beat Cornell 78-71 at home. The Monday night win extended the Orange’s current win streak to the third-longest in the ACC as of Monday night and improved the program’s record versus Cornell to 9-0 since the 2004-2005 season.

It’s a quicker turnaround for the Orange this week compared to usual — Syracuse will take on Saint Francis (PA) in what will be the final non-conference game of the 2023-2024 season. A win would push Syracuse to 10-1 without a single game played against the ACC, something the program hasn’t reached in years.

(Writer’s note: from what I can tell, the 2017-2018 season looks like the fast time Syracuse had at least 10 non-conference wins — the Orange finished with an 11-1 non-con record that year).

The TNIAAM Orange Player of the Week

This week’s co-winners: Dyaisha Fair and Georgia Woolley

In a game that looked out of reach as late as the fourth quarter, Syracuse’s dynamic one-two punch in the backcourt shouldered the load and then some against Cornell.

Fair overcame a poor shooting night (3/13 from the field) by getting involved pretty much everywhere else on the court, finishing with a team-high 24 points (16 of which came from free throws) to go along with 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals. She also jumped into the top-25 all-time in career points for Division I women’s basketball and landed at 21st by game’s end.

Woolley also made some noise of her own and finished with a season-high 23 points while hitting some major momentum-swinging three-pointers to keep Syracuse’s comeback alive. More importantly, she did all that with her family in attendance at the Dome for the first time in her Syracuse career.

Together, the Fair-Woolley combo scored over 60% of the Orange’s points and the guard duo came through just when the game appeared to be over.

TNIAAM Player of the Week tracker: Dyaisha Fair x2, Georgia Woolley x2, Alaina Rice x1, Alyssa Latham x1, Saniaa Wilson x1

Bracketology and AP Poll Update

Note: Latest projections from ESPN’s Charlie Creme updated as of Tuesday, December 19.

Syracuse moved down just a few spots but still remains a nine-seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament, according to ESPN’s latest bracketology update released Tuesday morning.

For the second-consecutive week, the Orange were one of ten ACC teams projected to make this year’s tournament, two more than the Pac-12 and three more than any other conference. But as Creme notes in his update, Duke was upset by Clemson earlier this year in what’s been the only ACC game so far (therefore, Clemson technically has the “automatic qualifier” for now).

Most likely, between 8-9 teams from the ACC will make the tournament by season’s end based on how some of these bubble can handle their conference opponents.

The other ACC teams projected at the top of the bracket in this year’s tournament include NC State (one-seed), Notre Dame (four-seed), Virginia Tech (five-seed), Louisville (six-seed), Florida State (seven-seed), Miami (eight-seed) and North Carolina (eight-seed).

Additionally, Syracuse received three votes in the latest AP poll released on Monday.

ACC power rankings and a look around the conference

Note: All team records include games from up to and including Tuesday, December 19.

By winning percentage, Syracuse sits as the second-best team in the ACC behind #3 NC State, who remains unbeaten at 11-0.

Here are the updated conference standings as of Tuesday 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 1 1-0 7-5
NC State 2 2 N/A 11-0
Syracuse 3 5 N/A 9-1
Miami T-4 3 N/A 8-1
Notre Dame T-4 6 N/A 8-1
Louisville 6 4 N/A 10-2
Virginia Tech. 7 T-7 N/A 8-2
Florida State T-8 T-9 N/A 8-3
Georgia Tech. T-8 T-9 N/A 8-3
Virginia 10 T-7 N/A 7-3
North Carolina 11 11 N/A 7-4
Boston College 12 12 N/A 7-5
Pittsburgh 13 13 N/A 5-6
Wake Forest 14 14 N/A 3-8
Duke 15 15 0-1 6-4

The entire conference will pretty much be wrapping up non-con business in the next week and a half, so there won’t be much of a shake-up in the standings until after that.

At least until January. That’s when things will really get interesting for Syracuse and the rest of the ACC.