For the second time in three years, the Syracuse University men's basketball program is expected to become the No. 1-ranked team in the nation Monday. On Saturday, the Orange (10-0), who are currently ranked No. 3 in the AP Poll, routed George Washington University, 85-50, and then received a little help from No. 13 Kansas, which defeated No. 2 Ohio State, 78-67; and Indiana, which upset No. 1 Kentucky, 73-72.
The win by the Orange and the two losses from the top-two teams in the nation will probably allow SU to sneak its way to No. 1.
"It will be the first time since a one-week run at the top spot late in 2010," wrote Sean Keeley of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, "and the first time they'll be No. 1 this early in the season since the 1989-90 year. The only other time they've been ranked No. 1 was at the beginning of the 1987-1988 season."
Is Syracuse as good as its predicted No. 1 ranking? -- there's still a slight chance that Kentucky will get the No. 1 nod considering the huge margin of first-place votes in last week's AP Poll (Kentucky, 47, Syracuse 0). Well, I'd like to think so, even though, I know there are many Orange critics that will say, "There's noway that SU is as talented as Kentucky, Ohio State, North Carolina or Louisville."
But, that's how the cookie crumbles sometimes. Yes, Syracuse may have not played a game outside the great state of New York, but it has beaten four future NCAA Tournament programs -- Stanford, Virginia Tech, Florida and Marshall. Also, the Orange can't help it if they continue to win and Kentucky can't beat a program that hasn't been relevant in three seasons.
And, don't you worry SU critics, the last time the Orange were No. 1 it lasted just a week. So, all will return to normal come next Monday. For now, Syracuse fan should rejoice because its squad will soon become the best team in the land!