So in the aftermath of the win over UNC on Friday night, a chunk of the Cuse Country staff, and some hangers-on, gathered at a local establishment to revel in what we had just witnessed and fantasize about what might be next on the agenda.
Among the topics of discussion was what would happen to the Orangemen’s national ranking following this dominance. Some of us hypothesized that they could jump all the way to the top ten. Others maintained that, even with a showing such as this, moving up in the early polls can be difficult unless teams ahead of you have lost games, and that the voters would probably be loath to jump SU up any higher than #12 or so. One of our number made a reasoned argument that we should be ranked #1, because to this point in the season we have shown more than any other team. He knew there was no chance it would actually happen, but it was a legit argument nonetheless.
Well, the rankings have come out and Syracuse has indeed cracked the top ten. #10 in the AP, #9 in the ESPN poll. And one AP voter agreed with the logic promulgated above and gave SU a first-place vote. When was the last time we had a first-place vote in the AP poll? Seriously? I don’t even think we got one in 2003 — remember we were just a 3-seed in that tournament. I might research this later, but anyone who knows the answer feel free to post it below.
It’s great to know that our dominance in NYC has been rewarded. But let’s hope that this doesn’t get too much into the heads of the players. It is going to be on Boeheim (and hopefully having smart seniors like Rautins and Onuaku will help) to make sure they are mentally prepared for tomorrow night’s Cornell game. The Big Red have already shown themselves to be a dangerous team, toppling Alabama and UMass. They are senior-laden (unlike the teams we faced in NYC) and won’t be intimidated by the Dome or the zone, having faced both plenty of times in the past few seasons. In fact, they gave SU a huge scare last year, taking a large early lead and holding it through much of the evening before ultimately falling by 10. Despite being a New York State team whose name begins with C, don’t confuse these guys with Columbia (Nov 27) or Colgate (Nov 30). This is a real solid team with real players and we will have to take them real seriously.