Bullies. The old kids swiped the lunch money from a gaggle of youngsters.
Now was the time to pick on those young Wildcats. By March they might be pretty good.
"This was Notre Dame throwing around Kentucky and winning by as many as they needed to win by," Kentucky's maverick coach John Calipari said in disgust. "We were out of control. We were shooting balls off the shot clock on a drive."
No lie, UK's Archie Goodwin really bounced one off the clock at least six inches above the backboard.
These guys from Lexington were rattled. More than 9,000 screaming fans, clad in black like their heroes on the court, were edgy all night.
Half the Irish football team, led by Manti Te'o and Kapron Lewis-Moore, camped out under the basket adjacent to the Kentucky bench and continually implored "Coach Cal" to sit down.
"The building was electric," said Irish coach Mike Brey.
The climax was a "court-stormable" moment. Notre Dame students flooded the playing surface, not because the unranked Irish beat the nation's eighth-ranked team, but they beat the defending national champs who are the anti-Irish.
Kentucky (4-2) does business differently than Notre Dame (7-1).
At Notre Dame, one-and-done means the big men missed out on an offensive rebound. At Kentucky, it's an enrollment plan for anyone over 6-foot-5.
Maybe the good guys wore black Thursday night.
Experience played a role in the Notre Dame victory.
With about four minutes to play and the Irish clinging to a 13-point lead, Notre Dame big man Jack Cooley went to the basket. Instead of a power move and a dunk, he flipped up a quick layup.
Kentucky's Nerlens Noel -- who's listed at 6-10, but has to be 7-1 at the crest of his flat-top -- swatted the ball away. About 30 seconds later, without any points scored, Cooley was whistled for his fourth foul and sent to the bench.
"Sometimes things just don't go your way," said Cooley. "I had to sit down, calm down. Coach said I was going right back in. He knows I just have to focus and not let one bad play cause another."
OK, the Irish were ripe for a collapse. Both teams went more than 3 minutes without scoring a point.
Up 10 with about 2 minutes to play, Kentucky could smell a rally. With the shot clock winding down, ND's Eric Atkins drove the lane and had his layup fly by the basket without drawing iron. Cooley got the rebound and alertly put it back quickly to beat the clock violation, get the lead to 12, and squelch the UK plans for recovery.