Syracuse Hoops Returns to Top Five in Polls

Ryan MaloneyContributor IIJanuary 12, 2010

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 20:  Wes Johnson #4 and Arinze Onuaku #21 of the Syracuse Orange celebrate after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic on November 20, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Orange defeated the Tar Heels 87-71 to win the championship.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange used a pair of 17-point victories, coupled with losses by Duke and Purdue, to vault back to the number five ranking in the latest AP and ESPN/USA Today men's basketball polls.

The Orange beat Memphis 74-57 on Jan. 6, then topped South Florida 82-65 on Sunday afternoon. The pair of home victories came after Pittsburgh dealt Syracuse their first loss of the season on Jan. 2.

Purdue and Duke both dropped from the top five after losing last week. The Boilermakers lost 73-66 at Wisconsin on Saturday and now find themselves ranked sixth in both polls. That same day, Georgia Tech outscored Duke by 10 points in the second half to down the Blue Devils 71-67. Duke is now ranked eighth by the writers and seventh by the coaches.

Jim Boeheim's bunch will now embark on a three-game conference road swing which starts at Rutgers (9-6) tomorrow night.