With a 67-57 win over Wake Forest on Wednesday, the Syracuse men's basketball team improved to 20-0, matching the best start in school history. The only other Syracuse team to win its first 20 games was the 2011-12 edition, and that squad ended up losing just one regular-season game on its way to an Elite Eight exit.
Much like the 2011-12 team, this year's Orange entered the season with lofty expectations but weren't quite among the National Championship favorites. In 2011-12, Syracuse was No. 5 in the AP's preseason rankings, while this year's team came in at No. 8 and has since ascended to No. 2.
Along with No. 1 Arizona and No. 4 Wichita State, Syracuse is one of three remaining undefeated teams in the country. While that may not sound like many, this is actually the first time since 1976 that three Division I programs have made it to 20-0.
Unfortunately for Syracuse fans, Jim Boeheim's boys may not stay undefeated for long. Next up on the schedule in the team's first season of ACC membership is a Saturday evening home matchup against Duke (17-4, 6-2 ACC), with the No. 17 Blue Devils fresh off a 15-point road win over No. 18 Pittsburgh. Rankings and records aside, Duke probably has the more talented roster, and, with apologies to Syracuse's C.J. Fair, the Blue Devils have the best player in Saturday's game, freshman forward Jabari Parker.