Te'o will always call Notre Dame 'home'


Te'o will always call Notre Dame 'home'

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame senior linebacker Manti Te'o couldn't have asked for a better way to go out in his final game at Notre Dame Stadium on Senior Day.

Te'o finished with six tackles on the afternoon in helping secure an Irish' 38-0 shut out of Wake Forest.

"That's a great way to end my career playing here in Notre Dame," an emotional Te'o said.

There were two moments from Senior Day that will stick with Te'o for the rest of his life; greeting his family on the 50-yard line before the game and the timeout Brian Kelly called to let the Notre Dame faithful give Te'o and Kapron Lewis-Moore a standing ovation for the last time.

"Oh yeah, it was everything and more," the senior linebacker said. "There was that moment and then when coach took me out, that was another moment. So definitely two things I'll always remember for the rest of my life."

The journey to get to this point -- a coaching change and no double-digit wining seasons until this year -- has been rocky for the Hawaiian-native, but South Bend will always be a place he calls home.

"There are no words that can describe what this place means to me," Te'o said. "I never thought a place besides Laie could be my home, and this has been my home and more. Just the love and everything that this community has done for me and for my team and family. I'm definitely very blessed to be here."

One person that's been by Te'o's side since they were kids is senior wide receiver Robby Toma and this journey wouldn't have had a since of fulfillment without him.

"It was the best story ever," Te'o said. To have my best friend here, my brother, I call him my twin. We obviously don't look alike, but we're basically the same person. To have him here and see the joy in his eyes and send him out with a victory like that was something that was really fulfilling for me."

The four years of his Notre Dame career aren't over at this point -- with a possibe national championship and a long-shot Heisman trophy hanging in the balance -- but Te'o summed up his time in South Bend.

"A lot of highs and lows. I wouldn't trade it for the world. These are the things that money can't buy," Te'o said. I'm just glad that I was able to make my family proud and bring Notre Dame to where it's supposed to be. College football is a lot better when Notre Dame is good. So it's definitely great to be Irish."

Dwyane Wade's near-miss of a triple-double caused by friendly Felicio fire

Dwyane Wade's near-miss of a triple-double caused by friendly Felicio fire

In a season where the triple-double has become commonplace to the point of stat chasing in the effort to chase history, Dwyane Wade didn't mind snatching his own piece of turf.

In a game where teammate Jimmy Butler reached the feat for the first time this season, it would've been doubly satisfactory for Wade to achieve the fifth triple-double of his career.

One rebound away in the final seconds of the Bulls' 117-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the memo didn't reach Cristiano Felicio, who reached over Wade to grab a rebound, causing it to harmlessly fall out of bounds and ending Wade's chance at history.

After Wade finished with 20 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in 34 minutes, he was asked if he "hated" Felicio for interrupting his moment.

"No hate. Just a strong dislike, though," said Wade with a wry smile. "You know how long it's been since I had a triple double? It's been a long time."

It's been six years, as his last triple-double came in the 2010-11 season with the Miami Heat, achieving the feat with a 22-point, 12-rebound and 10-assist performance against the then-Charlotte Bobcats on Feb. 4, 2011.

Even more than the statistical feat was Wade's variety, as he grabbed seven rebounds in the decisive third-quarter run that broke the game open, hitting Butler and Bobby Portis for long touchdown passes that would've had Jay Cutler or whichever quarterback the Cleveland Browns are banking on next fall, blushing.

Perhaps even more impressive was the fact it was on the second night of a back-to-back with the Bulls winning in overtime against the Phoenix Suns—a game where Wade turned it up late then threw it down over Alex Len in overtime.

"I think we just found our groove," Wade said. "We've had some injuries that have gone on but we're playing good basketball."

More pointedly, so is Wade, aided by him often finding Felicio for easy dunks on the pick and roll as they play second and fourth quarters together. 

Felicio was clearly bothered by his gaffe, which was made worse by the take-no-prisoners approach from Wade and Butler. When a member of foreign media approached him about an interview, Felicio said "you're not asking me about that last rebound, are you?"

Later in the evening, Felicio went to Twitter, posting "I did not know!!" in reference to Wade's night.

"I told him I didn't not even gonna act like I ain't mad at him. I'm very mad at him," said Wade with a laugh. "But he's all good. He said he didn't see me down there. So he took a shot at my height. It's cool. Jimmy had one. It would've been nice to have two triple doubles."

"I'm sure a stat would've came out that would've said, ‘Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler are the first duo to get a triple-double on a back-to-back since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen', since they got every record around here."

He was close, although Jordan and Pippen didn't achieve their feat on a back-to-back but a random night in the 1988-89 season. Jordan scored 41 with 11 assists and 10 rebounds and Pippen had 15 with 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a 126-121 overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

"We laugh about that often, but it's all good," Wade said. "I gotta work harder till I get another one one day."

Fast Break Morning Update: Jimmy Butler, Bulls beat Cavs

Fast Break Morning Update: Jimmy Butler, Bulls beat Cavs

Jimmy Butler records triple-double as Bulls beat Cavaliers again without LeBron James

Blackhawks' Niklas Hjalmarsson out Sunday vs. Blues

Northwestern's sluggish stretch continues with loss at Indiana, how does it affect NCAA tournament hopes?

Jason Heyward surprised Cubs fans didn’t boo Rajai Davis more

Zack Collins, Yoan Moncada play as White Sox fall to Dodgers

Cubs envisioning ‘hybrid' roles for Mike Montgomery and Brett Anderson

Alterations have White Sox prospect Carson Fulmer comfortable, 'in the moment'

Fire finish preseason with undefeated record after beating Toronto

How Albert Almora Jr. became part of the World Series puzzle for Cubs

Tomas Jurco ready for 'fresh start' with Blackhawks