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Syracuse women’s basketball: Weekly TNIAAM Awards and ACC Update for December 4th

Syracuse is on fire and so is the rest of the ACC.

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

The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (6-1) finds itself in great standing with just four games left to in non-conference play left for the team this season.

The Orange will make their official debut against the ACC on New Year’s Eve against Notre Dame, and the program will aim to continue building up its resume and getting itself situated before suiting up in conference play the rest of the way.

Syracuse fared well following last week’s inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge, but how did the rest of the conference perform?

Let’s jump right into to your recap of the Orange and the rest of the NCAAW landscape:

The Orange this week and next week

Note: All team records include games from up to and including Sunday, December 3.

Syracuse went a perfect 3-0 since our last update a little over a week ago. The Orange first traveled west to Sin City and finished 2-0 after getting double-digit wins against the Northern Iowa Panthers (71-54) and the Iowa State Cyclones (81-69), finishing as the official winners of the 2023 South Point Thanksgiving Shootout in Las Vegas.

Then in their return home to the Dome, the Orange defeated Alabama (a projected NCAA Tournament team) 79-73, easily handing Syracuse best victory of the year.

Syracuse returns to the JMA Wireless Dome on Monday night to face the Northeastern Huskies, followed by a trip to the Midwest for a Saturday night road game versus the Ohio Bobcats.

The TNIAAM Orange Player of the Week

This week’s co-winners: Alaina Rice and Alyssa Latham

With the way the schedule played out, we’ve actually got two player of the week noms to hand out this time around: one for Syracuse’s two games in Las Vegas and one for the Alabama game.

Starting with the former, Rice was the Orange’s only player to play exceptionally well against both Northern Iowa and Iowa State in Vegas. She was named “Most Outstanding Player” for the South Point Shootout, averaged 21.5 points per game in Vegas and shot the lights out of the ball (56% from the field and 7/10 from three). The rest of Rice’s stat sheet in the tournament included averages of 5.5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game.

As for Latham, she finished with a career-high 23 points (on 9/10 shooting), 12 rebounds and 5 blocks against the Crimson Tide. Behind Dyaisha Fair, she was easily the second-best player on the court and was essential to keeping Syracuse’s defense intact and controlling the boards alongside Kyra Wood.

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

Bracketology Update

Note: Latest projections from ESPN’s Charlie Creme updated as of Tuesday, November 28th.

Syracuse jumped three spots in this week’s bracketology update and moved into the first team listed in Creme’s “Last Four In” category and currently sit ahead of TCU, Michigan State and Arkansas. The Orange are slated to be the eighth team from the ACC projected to make the 2024 NCAA Tournament. That’s exactly the bare minimum in standing Syracuse needs to be if this season reflects what happened last year, when eight ACC teams also made the 2023 tournament.

Even better: this update doesn’t take into account the Orange’s win over Alabama, who was projected to be an eight-seed.

For now, however, that “magic eight” number might change given how this season has gone. The major story so far: the number of Power 5 losses to non-P5 opponents. According to Creme’s projections, two teams from each of the Ivy League, Horizon and Atlantic Sun conferences are slated to make the tournament right now. The Orange currently sit behind two of those surprise programs: Florida Gulf Coast and Green Bay.

ACC power rankings and a look around the conference

Note: All team records include games from up to and including Sunday, December 3.

NC State (9-0) and Miami (7-0) remain the only two unbeaten teams left in the ACC since the season started around a month ago. Syracuse sits with Notre Dame and Louisville as the only other teams with only one loss.

Syracuse and the rest of the ACC went 7-7 against the SEC last week as part of the ACC/SEC Challenge.

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

Here are some games to watch for this week with the ACC programs:

  • Massachusetts (1-8) @ Boston College (4-5) on Wednesday (7 pm EST)
  • Duke (5-3) @ Clemson (5-4) on Thursday (7 pm EST, ACC Network)
  • #2 UCLA Bruins (7-0) @ #15 Florida State (6-2) on Sunday (12 pm EST, ESPN2)
  • Kentucky (4-5) @ #22 Louisville (8-1) on Sunday (2 pm EST, ACC Network)
  • #24 North Carolina (5-3) @ #11 UConn (4-3) on Sunday (5 pm EST, ESPN)