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Syracuse women’s basketball: weekly TNIAAM awards, Bracketology and ACC updates for January 17th

The Orange are back to moving and grooving.

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

Yes, we’re still in shock from this weekend and not because both the Cowboys and Eagles lost.

The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team is arguably coming off one of the most memorable days in program history — Dyaisha Fair reached the historic (and rare) 3,000-point milestone in a Sunday game versus Clemson that saw the Orange achieve the largest comeback (19 points) in the Felisha Legette-Jack era.

Yeah, it doesn’t make sense to me, either. But that’s been the story behind a team that continues to prove its chemistry, resiliency and versatility is more than just a lucky hot start of the season.

The Orange have just reached beyond the halfway point of this year, and now we’re starting to get into the thick of some legitimate postseason talk.

As always, here’s your weekly look at 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 Tuesday, January 16.

Syracuse went 2-0 this week, winning its games versus Wake Forest and Clemson in two completely different fashions. The Orange led by double-digits from pretty much from the middle of the second quarter onward in a 77-56 road win over the Demon Deacons, then followed that up with the unfathomable comeback over the Tigers.

(Writer’s note: major props to Mike for pulling up the stats below from ESPN, but somehow Syracuse won the game versus Clemson despite trailing 53-34 in the third quarter and 72-60 with 6:31 left in the fourth quarter — Clemson had a 97.6% chance to win this game at that 6:31 marker according to ESPN projections. How.)

Up next is probably the toughest test of the season up to this point for the Orange — a matchup versus the #15 Florida State Seminoles this Thursday at home. After that, Syracuse is back on the road to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers on Sunday.

The TNIAAM Orange Player of the Week

This week’s winner(s): Dyaisha Fair

I wrote a story already breaking down how impressive Fair reaching 3,000 points is, but she deserves this weeks weekly honor after completely taking over in the fourth quarter. After scoring two points in the first half versus Clemson and struggling most of the way, Fair exploded for 14 of the Orange’s 30 fourth-quarter points.

The game before, Fair also scored 21 points against Wake Forest and led Syracuse in points both games this past week.

TNIAAM Player of the Week tracker: Dyaisha Fair x4, Georgia Woolley x2, Alyssa Latham x2, Alaina Rice x1, Saniaa Wilson x1, Sophie Burrows x1

Bracketology and AP Poll Update

Note: Latest projections from ESPN’s Charlie Creme updated as of Tuesday, January 16.

Syracuse jumped back up to a projected a seven-seed in ESPN’s latest bracketology update released on Tuesday morning. Nine ACC teams, including Syracuse, are projected to make the NCAA Tournament — currently the most out of the other conferences. If things hold up, at least eight teams from the ACC will likely hear their name called on Selection Sunday.

The Orange remain at 45th overall in NET with a 3-2 record in Q1 games and an undefeated record against Q2, Q3 and Q4 teams.

And, while they’re is still looking to return back into the AP top 25, the Orange received the third-most votes of the teams left just on the outside of the latest poll.

ACC power rankings and a look around the conference

Note: All team records include games from up to and including Tuesday, January 16.

Here are the updated standings in the ACC 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
Louisville 1 3 4-0 15-2
Florida State 2 4 5-1 14-4
Syracuse 3 6 4-1 14-2
Virginia Tech. 4 1 4-1 13-3
North Carolina 5 2 4-1 12-5
NC State 6 5 3-1 15-1
Notre Dame 7 10 3-2 12-3
Georgia Tech. 8 7 3-2 12-5
Duke 9 8 3-2 11-5
Boston College 10 11 2-3 10-8
Miami 11 9 1-4 11-5
Clemson 12 12 1-4 8-9
Virginia 13 13 0-5 8-8
Pittsburgh 14 14 0-5 6-12
Wake Forest 15 15 0-5 4-13

Here are the must-watch ACC games to watch over the next week:

  • #4 NC State (15-1, 3-1) @ Miami (11-5, 1-4) on Thursday (6 pm EST, ACC Network+)
  • #14 Virginia Tech (13-3, 4-1) @ Duke (11-5, 3-2) on Thursday (8 pm EST, ACC Network)
  • Duke (11-5, 3-2) @ #4 NC State (15-1, 3-1) on Sunday (12 pm EST, ACC Network)
  • #13 Louisville (15-2, 4-0) @ #23 North Carolina (12-5, 4-1) on Sunday (2 pm EST, ACC Network)