- Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Notre Dame’s basketball team needed a bit of luck to beat defending National Champion Kentucky Thursday night. The team appeared to find that luck in the form of Manti Te’o, the star player on the school’s football team.
Notre Dame defeated eighth ranked Kentucky 64-50 on Thursday. The game was part of the annual SEC/Big East Challenge. In the match-up, Notre Dame used balanced scoring to win the game. The team had a 36-25 halftime lead before it closed out the second half in similar fashion.
Te’o was a prominent factor during the game for the television crew as he chatted with ESPN analyst Dick Vitale during the game. Te’o was also seen sweeping the court during timeouts, as seen above. Other Notre Dame football players present included Kapron Lewis-Moore, Tyler Eifert and Zack Martin. Te’o, a captain on the football team, was also on hand to accept a sportsmanship trophy from the school. The star defensive player of the Fighting Irish football team also rushed the court with fans at the end of the game.
Perhaps head coach Mike Brey can get Te’o to start coming to all of Notre Dame’s basketball games. The team is now 7-1 on the season, including a perfect 6-0 home record. The team’s sole loss came against St. Joseph’s in overtime.
The win by Notre Dame also keeps an amazing streak under coach Brey alive. Teams coached by Brey at Notre Dame now hold a 46-0 record during the month of November. Of course Brey is hoping that the team’s success follows into the NCAA Tournament.
Notre Dame could use some luck from the Fighting Irish football team, who will play in this year’s BCS National Championship. Notre Dame has reached the NCAA Tournament 31 times, but holds a 31-36 record. The team last reached the Sweet Sixteen in 2003. Prior to the current tournament format, Notre Dame’s basketball team won the National Championship in 1927 and 1936. The team has a long ways to go to catch up with the success of the football program, which has won eleven national titles.