Syracuse Basketball: Do the Orange still deserve to be ranked?

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) Jalen Carey
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) Jalen Carey /

After two straight losses on Thursday and Friday, does the Syracuse basketball team still deserve to be considered among the best programs in the nation right now?

After two games and two wins, everything appeared to be heading in the right direction for the Syracuse basketball team this season.

But then it came time for the Orange to participate in the 2K Empire Classic inside Madison Square Garden last Thursday against the unranked UConn Huskies. Thanks to UConn shooting lights out from the outside (12-for-21), Syracuse ended up suffering their first loss of the 2018-19 season.

The result was nothing for the Orange to really freak out about. The Huskies had themselves and excellent shooting performance and that is not something Syracuse should be expecting from the majority of their opponents this season.

Syracuse Orange
Syracuse Orange /

Syracuse Orange

As a result of their loss, next on the Orange’s slate was a matchup with the No. 13 Oregon Ducks. Syracuse knew Oregon presented a tough matchup, but most assumed the Orange would be able to keep the game competitive and possibly come out with an impressive win.

Instead, the Ducks came out and proved they were a much better team as they easily defeated Syracuse by a final score of 80-65.

So in the matter of two days, the Orange went from being unbeaten to a team now sitting with a 2-2 record. Syracuse was the No. 15 team in the AP Top 25 prior to their matchup with UConn and one should assume to see the Orange drop in the rankings when the next poll is released.

It’s possible that Syracuse could even drop out of the AP Top 25 this week thanks to their two straight losses inside Madison Square Garden.

Nine of the 10 teams behind the Orange in the poll still do not have a loss on their record as of Sunday. It’s going to be difficult for a two-loss team like Syracuse to get more votes this week than a top 25-caliber squad that has yet to lose a game this season.

Even if the Orange do drop out of the rankings, it doesn’t mean that they are not a good team. Syracuse is still without senior point guard Frank Howard and his return is expected to give the team a boost on both sides of the ball.

There is still so much left in the 2018-19 season for the Orange, so hitting the panic button is not necessary just yet. But the chances of Syracuse remaining a ranked team for the upcoming week do not seem very high.

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