5. Syracuse

This could be the last go-round for the Orange in the Big East, as they ready for the ACC. If it is, the Cuse could go out with a bang. Jim Boeheim returns all but one starter from a team that won 27 games. The one, though, is a big one. Rick Jackson served as both the anchor of Syracuse's 2-3 zone and the team's commanding presence on the boards. The Orange need either Fab Melo or Rakeem Christmas to slide into his role. Melo, who spent his freshman season in and out of the doghouse, added 30 pounds of bulk and Boeheim said he likes his progress. But SU's strength will be in the backcourt, where Scoop Jardine, Kris Joseph and Brandon Triche offer depth and experience. Syracuse is still without a knockout outside shooter. If someone can develop consistency from 3, it will be hard to find a weak link for the Orange. -- Dana O'Neil