Do The Syracuse Orange Deserve The No. 1 Ranking In College Basketball?

By Taylor Sturm

The No. 2 Syracuse Orange took on the pesky Wake Forest Demon Deacons in ACC play and rolled over them fairly easily. Wake Forest kept the game close, but never looked like taking the lead as Tyler Ennis, CJ Fair and Jerami Grant led the Orange to a 67-57 victory.

As Syracuse continues to roll over opposition in conference play, one question remains — do they deserve to jump the similarly undefeated No. 1 Arizona Wildcats and not only become No. 1 in college basketball, but be on the fast track to the No. 1 overall seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament?

The answer is a complicated one. Syracuse is definitely a talented squad, but because the ACC and the PAC-12 are similarly top heavy with a fairly weak middle and bottom section, there isn’t a good way to measure which team is better; the Orange and the Wildcats both have good wins against ranked opponents and a similar mix of youth and experience. The good news for the Orange is that they still get to face the Duke Blue Devils twice and will be able to finish the season with better conference wins.

Syracuse is a legitimate contender for the National Championship. The Orange aren’t flashy, but they win games when they have to and don’t falter against weaker opposition. They probably won’t jump Arizona, despite the Wildcats’ narrow win over the Stanford Cardinal, but you can count on the Orange being favored by many to walk away from the 2014 NCAA Tournament as the national champion.

Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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