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UNC fans are feeling a little more optimistic following the Heels’ loss to Virginia Tech

When this team plays with confidence, everybody wins. Yes, even in a loss.

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NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, a survey of fans across college sports. Each week during the college sports season, we will send out polls to plug in fans to each team. Tar Heel fans can sign up HERE to join FanPulse.

What if I told you that things are looking better within the UNC fanbase? What if I told you that somehow, despite Carolina still struggling to get the elusive January win in 2020, fans are starting to feel at least a little bit better about this team? If you’re confused by this information it’s a bit understandable, but it’s also likely shedding brighter light on the biggest problem that this team has faced this year. With that said, here is this week’s fan confidence survey results:

All month long we’ve done our best to decipher the issues that plague this UNC basketball team, but let’s be real honest: there’s really one major problem that is making things way worse than they ever would be otherwise. Brandon Robinson, Cole Anthony, Sterling Manley, and Anthony Harris were all unavailable for the game against Virginia Tech, and Leaky Black was playing with an injured hand. This is all without factoring in whatever bumps and bruises other members of the team may have, and also factoring in that Jeremiah Francis made his return to the court after dealing with a sore knee. It’s easy to forget how bad it is when only one or two injuries are announced every week or so, but when focusing on the entire picture, it’s really difficult to be too hard on this group of guys.

What this team was able to show against Virginia Tech was honestly impressive, especially considering the personnel that was rolled out. Garrison Brooks and Justin Pierce had big-time performances, and things overall just looked like they were flowing a little better. All of this isn’t to say that there aren’t execution issues that remain, as there definitely are, but the amount of fight and toughness that this team is showing is extremely admirable. Hopefully they keep this same energy when Cole Anthony is finally able to return to this team and try to salvage as much of this season as they possibly can.

What do you think of this week’s survey results? Are you feeling better about the rest of this season knowing that Cole Anthony’s return is imminent? Or have you slowly backed into the bushes with your basketball jersey are and have already re-emerged with a baseball jersey on? Let us know in the comments below, and as always, if you haven't signed up for FanPulse yet you can do so by clicking the link at the top of this article.

Go Heels!