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Syracuse women’s basketball: Orange rank No. 22 in latest AP poll, highest in FLJ era

The Orange were last rated this high in December 2020.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Notre Dame at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Amid a five-game winning streak, the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (16-2, 6-1) jumped back into the AP top 25 for the second time this season, according to the latest poll released on Monday.

The Orange jumped up to 22nd overall in the AP poll, which is the highest the team has been ranked since Felisha Legette-Jack took over as head coach. Syracuse was previously ranked 25th in the AP poll two weeks ago, but an upset home win over #23 Florida State helped to propel the Orange back into the mix yet again.

Including #22 Syracuse, a whopping seven ACC teams clinched a spot in this week’s poll — #7 NC State, #15 Notre Dame, #18 Louisville, #19 Virginia Tech, #20 North Carolina and #23 Florida State. Out of the Orange’s 11 remaining regular season games, five will be against AP top 25 ACC opponents.

Through 18 games, Syracuse is off to its best start since the 2012-2013 season — the Orange’s two lone losses this year were both on the road to ranked opponents, and the resume for ‘Cuse is in pretty amazing shape at this point of the season compared to last year.

Syracuse’s 6-1 record against the ACC is also the best start the program has had since joining the ACC. The Orange as of Monday afternoon are also tied with UNC for first place in the conference — keep in mind that Syracuse was projected to finish ninth in the ACC during the preseason.

The Orange currently project to be a six-seed in ESPN’s latest bracketology update, which was last updated on Friday morning after Syracuse’s upset win over FSU. Syracuse remains at 45th overall in NET, which is currently ninth in the ACC.

Syracuse will enter this week and continue to face what is the team’s toughest stretch of the regular season. ‘Cuse will take on three of those ranked ACC teams — Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and Louisville — in consecutive games with two of those being on the road.

First up on the docket is a rematch Thursday evening in South Bend versus the Fighting Irish, who the Orange upset at home on New Year’s Eve.

Now it’s your turn: Are the Orange ranked too high, too low, or just right? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.