SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has to be impressed with his third-ranked Orange, no matter what he says in the heat of the moment.
After two, gritty two-point wins in a three-day span - at then-No. 1 Louisville on Saturday and at home on Monday against No. 21 Cincinnati - Syracuse sits alone atop the Big East standings.
The Orange have only lost once in 29 conference games in regular-season play in the past calendar year and have beaten their opponents this season by an average of 19.2 points. Winning two close games in a row is a good sign for a team that hasn't been tested much.
If there's a question mark, it's senior forward James Southerland. He was declared out indefinitely before the Villanova game 11 days ago because of an eligibility matter involving academics that has yet to be resolved. He's still practicing with the team and hopeful of a quick resolution.

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