Manti Te’o might be the best college football player in the country, but he is still a Notre Dame student. So it only makes sense that Te’o was in attendance for the Irish’s upset of No. 8 Kentucky on Thursday night and participated in more than just the arena’s “blackout” night.
When the clock ticked down to zero with the Irish leading 64-50, the students began streaming on the court with Te’o leading the charge from one of the end lines. In a sports culture that treats college athletes like professionals, it’s refreshing to see one of the sports biggest stars act like a normal college student — in a good way.
The Irish players were understandably excited about winning, but they were confused as to why the fans came on the court. Notre Dame has won 41 of its last 42 home games and the team expects to win games at home, regardless of whether John Calipari and the defending national champions are sitting on the other bench.
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey called it a “fun night” and sixth-year forward Scott Martin calmly left the floor, only stopping to shake the hand of athletic director Jack Swarbrick.
“I’m old and my knee hurt,” Martin said. “I figured I’d get out the way. I got to experience that last year. Obviously, it wasn’t a huge upset. In our mind, we were closely matched.”
Check out Te’o and the Irish faithful rush the court on Thursday night in the video below.