Fans

No women's college basketball program in the country (at any level) has enjoyed the kind of growth in its fan base that Notre Dame has experienced during the past 13 seasons. In that time, the Fighting Irish have sparked an explosion in their single-season average attendance figures, increasing their home crowds by more than 200 percent to their most recent average of a school-record 8,571 fans per game in 2011-12.

Notre Dame also has placed among the top 16 schools in the country in the final NCAA Division I attendance rankings each of the past 12 seasons, including eight top-10 finishes (and the last six years in a row), led by a school-best No. 4 ranking in 2009-10 (8,377 fans per game) and No. 5 rankings in both 2010-11 (8,553 fans per game) and 2011-12.

The last seven seasons have seen the most exceptional growth in the Fighting Irish fan base, as Notre Dame has posted 23 of the program's 25 sellout crowds during that span, highlighted by 19 sellouts in the past three years alone. The Fighting Irish also have lifted their season ticket sales to new heights in the last three seasons, with the program's entire season ticket package allotment (close to 7,500) for each year being sold out before the season even tipped off!

The Notre Dame fan support isn't limited to home games, either. In fact, the Fighting Irish "Spirit Patrol" has spread to numerous road games in recent years, making their presence known through their loud cheering and ever-present lime-green t-shirts and pom-poms (a color made popular by head coach Muffet McGraw during Notre Dame's 2001 NCAA national championship season).

This road support was never more apparent than during the past two NCAA Women's Final Fours. At the 2011 Final Four in Indianapolis, more than 10,000 Notre Dame fans, including five bus loads of students, overwhelmingly helped turn Conseco Fieldhouse into an Irish "Green Castle." A year later, better than 5,000 Fighting Irish fans made the journey to Denver as Notre Dame returned to the NCAA national championship game for the second year in a row and helped the Final Four produce its best TV ratings since 2004.