The Syracuse Orange's recent four-game losing streak is wreaking havoc on their national ranking, which plummeted to No. 17 in both college basketball polls Monday. This is the worst ranking the Orange, who was ranked No. 13 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Preaseason poll, has earned all season. Last week, SU (18-4, 5-4 Big East) was ranked No. 9 in the AP poll and No. 10 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. However, Syracuse lost to the Seton Hall Pirates Tuesday, 90-68; and then lost to Marquette Golden Eagles Saturday, 76-70.
The wacky weekend of upsets in the Big East Conference led to the league earning just three teams in the Top 10 -- No. 4 Pittsburgh Panthers, *No. 6/7 Connecticut Huskies and No. 9/8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who beat Pitt, 56-51, last Monday night, each earned Top-10 spots. For the past eight weeks, the Big East has averaged at least four teams in the Top 10 but the No. 12 Villanova Wildcats, which lost two games last week, and SU dropped out of the Top 10 this week.
The No. 15/13 Louisville Cardinals earned a ranking in both polls but the West Virginia Mountaineers earned just a No. 25 ranking in the AP poll. The Big East earned eight squads in the Top 25 in the AP poll but just seven in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. The St. John's Red Storm, who defeated the No. 5 Duke Blue Devils, 93-78, Sunday, earned just one point in the AP poll, tied for 46th, but no votes in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll.
In both polls the Top-3 teams were: No. 1 Ohio St. Buckeyes, No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks and No. 3 Texas Longhorns.
*AP poll/USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll