Despite Tense Win, Syracuse Merits Its Rating

Despite Tense Win, Syracuse Merits Its Rating

When Syracuse was upset by Notre Dame on Jan. 21, Orange coach Jim Boeheim got a text from Kentucky coach John Calipari.

It read, “Thanks a lot.”

The loss meant Kentucky would inherit the No. 1 ranking and accompanying bull’s-eye from the Orange. Boeheim was fine with giving that away.

“I hope you can stay there,” Boeheim texted back to Calipari. “I want to just be close to you.”

Twenty-three days later, Syracuse still is close to Kentucky – right behind the No. 1 Wildcats in every poll. And although there is a temptation to assert that the Orange’s lurching, 52-51 mud-fight victory over Louisville on Monday as proof that they’re not on the same plane as the Wildcats, that assertion would be incorrect.

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