If historians ever try to pinpoint the game that transformed Jimmer Fredette from player of the year candidate to bona fide basketball icon, Wednesday's 71-58 victory over previously undefeated San Diego State would be an ideal choice.
The unassuming BYU star scored 43 points on 14-for-24 shooting, a mesmerizing performance that inspired a "You got Jimmered" chant from his appreciative home crowd and elevated him to a level of nationwide fame few college players ever achieve.
Three different Jimmer-inspired hashtags each became national trending topics on Twitter. Highlights of his performance and a subsequent live phone interview led "SportsCenter" for the second time in two weeks. And the crush of white-clad students that stormed the Marriott Center court trying to get close to Fredette after the game was so suffocating that he actually needed a police escort to help him escape the mayhem.
"It was kind of scary," Fredette told reporters after the game.
Fredette inspired such a strong reaction from both the BYU crowd and an awed national TV audience because he delivered a virtuoso performance in one of the most heavily hyped games of the regular season. San Diego State and BYU entered their first of two matchups this season both boasting top-10 rankings and matching 5-0 records in Mountain West play.
Maybe the most telling aspect of the night was how many people took the time to find CBS College Sports on their cable packages as word spread that the nation's leading scorer was on his way to eclipsing 40 points for the third time in four games.
Everyone from NBA stars, to rappers, to prominent reporters, to even fellow college player of the year candidates weighed in on Fredette's masterpiece via Twitter, a sampling of which you'll find after the jump.
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- Jimmer Fredette