Orange not fazed with recently achieved No. 1 ranking after tight win over Notre Dame

first_imgAfter a narrow 61-55 victory against Notre Dame on Monday, Syracuse’s locker room didn’t feel like that of the No. 1 team in the country. No one — save for Trevor Cooney — had played particularly well and the Orange barely edged a team that’s far closer to .500 than No. 1. SU’s first game trying to protect the top spot in the polls was nearly a disaster, as the Orange started slow after an emotional win against then-No. 17 Duke over the weekend. “Coach let us know that right now this basically means nothing and we want to be playing our best basketball at the end of the season,” SU point guard Tyler Ennis said. “So whether we’re ranked or not, right now that really doesn’t matter.”By virtue of its win against then-No. 17 Duke and then-No. 1 Arizona’s loss to California on Saturday, the Orange moved up to No. 1 — unanimously — on Monday, before it hosted the Fighting Irish. SU is the first unanimous top team since Duke in 2010-11.Syracuse survived a scare against UND, but players insisted that it had nothing to do with the pressure of being No. 1. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think we’ve been dealing with this all year so far,” Ennis said. “Every team that we’ve played has been hitting shots. We kind of expect it now. We’ve got to come in every game and be ready to play.”The last time Syracuse raced out to the best start in school history and claimed the top spot in the rankings, it traveled to South Bend, Ind., and suffered its first loss of the season to the Irish.Forward C.J. Fair was a contributor left from that 2011-12 team and he said he had completely forgotten that it was the Fighting Irish who delivered that loss until someone reminded him during warmups.“That was in the back of my mind,” Fair said. “Didn’t want that to happen again.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 4, 2014 at 6:27 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2last_img

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