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Notre Dame Men’s Basketball: Fan Confidence Dips Following Wake Loss

The latest FanPulse survey also decides the best ACC team and coach of the year.

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NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Satisfaction of Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball fans dipped this week, most likely a reaction to the team’s inexplicable loss to lowly Wake Forest last Saturday.

Fifty percent of self-identified Irish fans told SB Nation’s FanPulse that they believed the program was heading in the right direction, down 17 percent from last week’s survey.

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The downward trend in satisfaction coincides with the practical end to the Irish’s already-faint NCAA Tournament ambitions. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons (13-15, 6-12 ACC) defended home court Saturday with a 84-73 win against the Irish (18-12, 9-10 ACC).

The survey concluded before fans witnessed the Irish blow a 13-point lead at home and lose to the Florida State Seminoles on Wednesday, which means the satisfaction score could be even worse next week.

The Irish finish their regular season at 7 p.m. Saturday against the Virginia Tech Hokies (16-14, 7-12 ACC). Notre Dame will need to win the ACC Championship next week to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

All fans of ACC teams were again asked which program was the best in the conference — and the Irish still managed three votes. Most respondents took the more practical route and picked the seven ranked Florida State Seminoles (51 percent), followed by the Louisville Cardinals (21 percent) and Duke Blue Devils (19 percent).

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

Finally, survey respondents were asked which program leader was coach of the year.

Those who achieved more than 10 percent of the fan vote included Anthony Grant of the Dayton Flyers (20 percent); Scott Drew of the Baylor Bears (17 percent); Brian Dutcher of the San Diego State Aztecs (15 percent) and Leonard Hamilton of the aforementioned Seminoles (13 percent).

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