Expert has Syracuse basketball way high up in preseason ACC rankings

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Syracuse basketball checks in at No. 3 overall in recently published Atlantic Coast Conference power rankings ahead of the 2023-24 campaign.

College basketball expert Jay Anderson, who extensively covers the ACC and other leagues for stellar FanSided Web site Busting Brackets, unveiled his preseason ACC power rankings in 2023-24 a couple of days ago.

I’m delighted to say that Anderson has the Orange at No. 3 within the league’s pecking order, at least prior to the upcoming season commencing. I like Jay’s mindset here about the ‘Cuse.

Yes, Adrian Autry is in his first year as the Orange’s head coach, as he replaced the Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim this past spring. In the off-season, the ‘Cuse saw its 2023-24 roster get a sizable makeover, but at least on paper, this 13-player line-up is athletic, deep and versatile at every position group.

What’s more, if we’re talking about the ACC, national and conference pundits seem to agree that Duke is the top team in this league, at least as far as preseason prognostications go, but otherwise, the ACC is fairly wide open.

Syracuse basketball has a great chance to be a top-four to a top-six squad in the ACC.

In super early top-25 national rankings ahead of 2023-24, the Blue Devils are placed in the top five. Both Miami and North Carolina are also in these ratings. The Hurricanes went to the Final Four in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, while the prior season, the Tar Heels reached the championship game (and Duke made the Final Four).

To that end, Anderson’s preseason ACC power rankings are as follows:
No. 1, Duke
No. 2, Miami
No. 3, Syracuse basketball
No. 4, North Carolina
No. 5, Clemson
No. 6, N.C. State
No. 7, Virginia
No. 8, Pittsburgh
No. 9, Florida State
No. 10, Virginia Tech
No. 11, Wake Forest
No. 12, Georgia Tech
No. 13, Boston College
No. 14, Louisville
No. 15, Notre Dame

I’ve said it several times lately. The Orange’s 20-game ACC docket in 2023-24 is manageable. The ‘Cuse has multiple tough games in its non-conference calendar, and Syracuse basketball will be tested early between some non-conference affairs as well as a challenging start to its ACC play.

That being said, if the Orange can gel as a cohesive unit sooner rather than later, I’m going on record in stating that I believe the ‘Cuse will return to the Big Dance in 2024 after a two-year absence from March Madness.

In the preseason, most experts aren’t super high on Syracuse basketball, although some pundits, including Anderson and others, suggest that the Orange could surprise us all as the 2023-24 stanza officially begins in early November.

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