You remember Syracuse, the perennial giant of Eastern basketball who is cut down to mortal size come tournament time.

Well, the Orangemen are up to their old tricks.

They stand 21-1, awaiting Tuesday night's 8 o'clock (WTTG-TV-5) invasion by 17-5 Georgetown for a Big East game at Manley Field House. Syracuse has made quick work of a schedule that includes the likes of Cornell and St. Francis, Pa., Le-Moyne, Baltimore and Siena.

Except for a late-game 68-67 collapse at Old Dominion, the Orange have come through unscathed, which in this season of balance has enabled them to attain the No. 2 ranking in both national wire service polls.

Followers of Syracuse basketball claim there will be no season-end flop this year when they play for keeps. They say Coach Jim Boeheim's fourth club is a genuine contender for the national title. The previous outfits were mere pretenders with flaws waiting to be exploited by the Georgetowns, Pennsylvanians, Western Kentuckys and North Carolina-Charlottes.

There appears to be reputable evidence to back up the claims that this is the year for the "Louis and Bouie Show."

For one thing, the Orange have proven they can win consistently away from the friendly Manley pit, where they have a 191-27 record in 18 seasons and are working on a 57-home-game winning streak.

Nationally ranked Purdue and its star center, Joe Barry Carroll, have been conquered on the road -- on national TV no less. Syracuse has won at Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Penn State, Rhode Island, Rutgers and Providence. Eastern Eight power Villanova was humbled on a neutral court.

This Orange squad doesn't beat only foes psyched out by the frenzied Manley fans, who will have to move to the 50,000-seat Carrier Dome next season. Tonight's game is the finale in Manley.

There are other reasons for the heady, confident feeling about this team the locals call the Orange Express.

They are Roosevelt Bouie, Louis Orr, Eddie Moss, Marty Headd and Erich Santifer, the Syracuse starters. All but Santifer are familiar to eastern basketball fans.

If one player stands out as the key to making his team respected nationally when the previous clubs were not taken seriously, it's Bouie.

The 6-foot-11 native of tiny Kendall, N.Y., near Rochester, is a senior, and he's playing like one.

Known primarily as a defensive intimidator and shot-blocker in the past, Bouie has come up with scoring moves -- dribble and drive to the basket and turn-around jumper -- that makes him a two-way threat.

Bouie's scoring is up to a team-leading 17.8 points a game. He's hit for 30, 29 and 27 this season and turned Syracuse into a center-oriented team. Now the pro scouts are tabbing Bouie as one of the top half-dozen selections in the NBA draft.

"Roosevelt simply wants the ball more now," said Boeheim. "He's confident with the ball. He's getting better every game, but he won't peak until his second year in the pros."

Bouie has been made all the more effective by a great supporting cast.

The 6-9 stringbean Orr is called Syracuse's best all-around player be Boeheim. Orr does everything well. A typical game for him is 18 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, two blocked shots and three steals.

Orr, another NBA first-round prospect, is his team's best defensive player. Put Orr on the opposition's top scoring forward and you probably won't see him for the night.

On offense, Orr roams the top of thekey, firing bullet passes to Bouie for dunks when he's covered.

"Bouie could score 30-35 a game for us," said Boeheim, "but we don't need it with the balance we have.

"Teams have to play a zone against us because they can't stop Bouie and Orr one-on-one. It's impossible."

And when opponents go to a zone, Syracuse has an answer this year in Headd, a Syracuse native who shaved his head when he realized he never was going to have much hair anyway.

Now a junior, the 6-2 Headd has been tabbed "the laser" for his 58 percent accuracy on 18- to 20- foot jumpers over zones.

When Headd cools down, 6-1 senior Hal Cohen can pick up the slack from outside.

But first, Syracuse tries to get the ball to Bouie. And that tactic has been successful this year largely because of Moss. The 6-2 junior from New York City has given up shooting, except for layups, to concentrate on passing, specializing in alley-oops to Bouie.

Moss, who doubles as a defensive pickpocket, already has 133 assists, with a single-game record of 14 against St. Bonaventure Saturday.

Santifer is a 6-5 unheraled freshman from Ann Arbor, Mich., who the Big Ten schools figured was too small for a forward. The team's fourth-leading scorer with a 10-point average, he has beaten out 6-11 junior Dan Schayes, 6-5 sophomore Ron Payton and 6-4 highly recruited freshman Tony Bruin for the small forward position.

Schayes, Payton, Bruin and Cohen give Syracuse "the strongest bench I've seen on an eastern team," said NBC commentator Billy Packer. "Syracuse has more quality athletes than I've ever seen at an eastern school."

Bouie, Orr, Moss, Headd, Santifer and a bench. The inside scoring power and the outside shooting touch plus a shot-blocker supreme. They all add up to a winner for Syracuse.

And this one doesn't figure to short-circuit in the NCAA tournament.