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Syracuse women’s basketball: Orange crack AP top 25 for first time in Felisha Legette-Jack era

Syracuse is coming off a stunning win over #13 Notre Dame.

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

The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (11-1, 1-0) cracked the AP top 25 for the first time in the Felisha Legette-Jack era, according to the latest AP poll released Monday.

Syracuse jumps to #25 in the AP poll following its 86-81 upset win at home against the then-#13 Notre Dame Fighting Irish on New Year’s Eve. This is the first time the Orange have been in the AP top 25 since January 16, 2021, and the program is off to its best start since the 2017-2018 season.

Syracuse joins #3 NC State, #13 Virginia Tech, #16 Notre Dame, #17 Louisville and #22 Florida State as the six teams from the ACC currently in the AP top 25. Two other ACC teams, North Carolina and Miami, also received consideration in this week’s poll.

So far, the Orange are absolutely surpassing their preseason expectations — Syracuse was projected to finish ninth in the ACC according to the conference’s preseason poll conducted by the Blue Ribbon Panel. Looking at the bigger picture, it marks a strong showing in the progress Legette-Jack has made to turn the program around since she was hired in March 2022.

The Orange have won eight games in a row since losing to Maryland 83-81 on the road on November 19. Syracuse, which jumped to 42nd in NET, continues to build up its resume heading into the thick of conference play with wins over Notre Dame (7th in NET), Alabama (25th in NET) and Iowa State (45th in NET). The win over the Fighting Irish bumped up Syracuse to the seventh-best NET ranking in the ACC.

Syracuse still projects as a nine-seed in ESPN’s latest bracketology update, which currently doesn’t factor in the Orange’s upset win. Expect a change in that projection on Tuesday morning.

The Orange will play as an AP top 25 team for the first time this season (and since January 2021) on Sunday against Boston College. Prior to that, Syracuse will travel south to face North Carolina — who was the first team left off this week’s AP poll — on Thursday.