Syracuse Basketball: Orange to Be Named New No. 1 in AP and Coaches' Polls

Gene Siudut@@GeneSiudutContributor IIIDecember 11, 2011

Dion Waiters, Brandon Triche and Fab Melo.
Dion Waiters, Brandon Triche and Fab Melo.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange used its superior size and incredible defense to run away from George Washington 85-50.

The third-ranked Orange (10-0) figure to be the top-ranked team in both the AP and Coaches’ polls after current top-ranked Kentucky fell to Indiana, 73-72, on a last-second three-point shot by Christian Watford and second-ranked Ohio State, playing without its star, Jared Sullinger, was dropped by Kansas, 78-67.

When Syracuse was last ranked at the top spot, it was at the closing of the 2009-10 season. At the time, Syracuse had gone 20 years since achieving that high a ranking.

Then known as the Orangemen, Syracuse’s lineup boasted household names such as Derrick Coleman and Billy Owens and even had current heir apparent to Jim Boeheim, Mike Hopkins, on the roster.

It seems Syracuse will not have to wait another 20 years for the top spot to be colored orange.

The Orange would only keep that ranking for one week as it suffered a 10-point loss at Louisville—the second loss to Louisville out of three losses that season. Kris Joseph, Brandon Triche, Scoop Jardine, James Southerland and Mookie Jones are all left-overs from that team and will do well to keep that loss fresh in their heads.

This Orange team’s next game will be against an improved N.C. State Wolfpack squad on Saturday, December 17. It will be the first road game for the Orange this season, not counting the NIT at Madison Square Garden, the Orange’s second home.

The next true test for Syracuse should come against No. 11 Marquette at the Carrier Dome on January 7.

Barring any unforeseen setbacks, the Orange should enjoy the top ranking for longer than the one-week reign of its last installment two years ago. Syracuse has already enjoyed impressive victories against Virginia Tech, Stanford, Florida and a very good Marshall team and is not showing any signs of letting up.

Only time will tell how far this Orange team will go, but all signs point to a very special season for Syracuse.

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