Syracuse Basketball: ‘Cuse will face multiple foes in AP preseason top 25

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

Syracuse basketball will square off against numerous opponents that reside in the Associated Press preseason top-25 poll announced on Monday.

The Orange, under first-year head coach Adrian Autry, is looking to return to the NCAA Tournament following a two-year absence. On paper, the team’s 2023-24 roster is filled with athleticism, depth and versatility, and Autry recently said that he’s confident that the ‘Cuse will have success in the upcoming season, which was set to officially begin three weeks from Monday.

In 2023-24, Syracuse basketball will endure an 11-game non-conference slate that includes battles with some highly rated squads. To me, the Orange’s 20-contest calendar in the Atlantic Coast Conference has challenges but is also manageable.

Unsurprisingly, when the AP’s preseason top 25 was disclosed, the ‘Cuse wasn’t ranked, nor did it receive any votes. However, early on in the 2023-24 stanza, the Orange will have opportunities to knock off top-flight groups and potentially make an entrance into the top-25 ratings.

Let’s see which Syracuse basketball foes are in the AP’s preseason top-25 poll.

Big 12 Conference powerhouse Kansas is No. 1 in the AP preseason ballot. The Jayhawks and the ‘Cuse both will suit up at the 2023 Maui Jim Maui Invitational in Honolulu right before the Thanksgiving holiday, although Kansas and the Orange are on opposite sides of the bracket, so it’s likely they won’t go toe to toe.

Duke, the team to beat in the ACC, checks in at No. 2 nationally. The ‘Cuse, in 2023-24, will only play the Blue Devils once, in Durham, N.C., on January 2.

Purdue is No. 3, while Gonzaga is No. 11. The Boilermakers and the Bulldogs are on the same side of the bracket as the ‘Cuse in this year’s Maui Invitational, which means that Syracuse basketball is going to square off versus one of these two teams.

On November 20, the Orange’s first game in the Maui Invitational is against Southeastern Conference member Tennessee, and the Volunteers are No. 9 in the AP’s preseason top 25.

Also on the other side of the bracket at the Maui Invitational are Marquette, which is No. 5, and UCLA, which is receiving votes, and it’s possible that Syracuse basketball will play either the Golden Eagles or the Bruins.

Miami, which went to the Final Four of the 2023 Big Dance, is projected as one of the top ACC squads this coming term. The Hurricanes, No. 13 in the AP preseason poll, will come to the JMA Wireless Dome on January 20.

In 2023-24, Syracuse basketball will play a home-and-home series with North Carolina, which is No. 19. The Orange travels to Chapel Hill, N.C., on January 13, and then the Tar Heels head to the Hill a month later, on February 13.

Virginia has owned the ‘Cuse in recent years, and the Orange’s first ACC affair of 2023-24 is in Charlottesville, Va., on December 2. In the AP’s preseason top 25, the Cavaliers are receiving votes.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Projecting the Orange’s record in 2023-24 season. dark