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Notre Dame Men’s Basketball: Winning Helps Fan Confidence

Two-thirds of Irish supporters are now satisfied with program’s direction.

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NCAA Basketball: Notre Dame at Boston College Adam Richins-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are feeling much better this week after the men’s basketball team won two games to keep the faintest of NCAA tourney hopes alive.

Sixty-seven percent of self-identified Irish fans told SB Nation’s FanPulse that they are confident in the direction of the men’s program, up 26 percent from the week prior.

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That rise is satisfaction came as the Irish beat the Miami-Florida Hurricanes, 87-71, on Sunday and the Boston College Eagles, 62-61, on Wednesday. The Irish are in Winston Salem, N.C. today to play the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (12-15, 5-12 ACC).

All fans of ACC teams were asked which program was the best in the conference — and the Irish (18-10, 9-8 ACC) actually garnered a few votes. Most respondents took the more practical route and picked the sixth ranked Florida State Seminoles (40 percent), followed by the Duke Blue Devils (34 percent) and Louisville Cardinals (19 percent).

Here are the confidences of fans who support opponents’ programs:

Finally, those who took the survey were asked which teams were most deserving of No. 1 seeds in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Respondents were certain of the Kansas Jayhawks (86 percent), Baylor Bears (85 percent) and Gonzaga Bulldogs (74 percent), but then it got more divisive. The San Diego State Aztecs (47 percent), Dayton Flyers (37 percent) and Duke Blue Devils (30 percent) were the next three choices, with the Maryland Terrapins (23 percent) and Florida State Seminoles (19 percent) behind them.

The ACC Tournament starts Tuesday, March 10 and the NCAA Tournament begins Tuesday, March 17. Selection Sunday is March 15.