Jimmer Fredette's performance in Denver vs. Gonzaga pushes him closer to folk-hero status

The NCAA basketball tourney games in Denver on Saturday stood in stark contrast to each other. Richmond-Morehead State boasted virtually no notable names, while Brigham Young-Gonzaga featured one of the biggest stars of 2011 March Madness, BYU's Jimmer Fredette -- a player so renowned that even his cheerleader gal-pal, Chatfield-grad Whitney Wonnacott, has become an Internet celeb. And based on his performance, Fredette's fame has only grown.

Fredette's scoring total was modest by his standards, if no one else's: He contributed 34 points in BYU's 89-67 victory over the 'Zags. But that's because he spent much of his time getting his teammates involved, and they repaid his confidence in him. Three members of the squad -- Noath Hartsock, Jackson Emery and Stephen Rogers -- ended in double figures.

This relative balance gives Brigham Young a chance against their next (very formidable) opponent, Florida -- and if BYU gets past the Gators (alma mater of Tim Tebow, to whom Jimmer is frequently compared), Fredette will likely reach college-basketball folk hero status.

If he hasn't already.

More from our Sports archive: "UNC's Devon Beitzel gets his Jimmer Fredette on, but it's not enough vs. San Diego State."

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