2009

Wall Street Journal: BYU is now the Duke of the West

Brigham Young University has one of the country's finest college-basketball teams, featuring a player that their fans insist should be the National Player of the Year.

It's a prestigious school that propels its graduates to desirable jobs. Wherever the team travels, especially in its conference, the opposing fans make it exceedingly clear that they would like to see them mashed into a pulpy sauce. And its team colors are blue and white.

In other words, BYU has become the Duke of the West.

Behind senior guard Jimmer Fredette, the nation's leading scorer, they're 19-1, ranked No. 9 in the polls and a trendy pick to wreak havoc come March.

While mid-majors with a national profile such as Gonzaga or Butler are usually appreciated as underdogs, in the Mountain West Conference, BYU is treated like the establishment, rich in basketball pedigree. It's the squad guaranteed to fill a student section in Las Vegas, bring out hatred in Wyoming and agitate the otherwise sunny people of San Diego. Opposing fans even camp out for tickets to see BYU—and welcome them with a chorus of heckles, slurs and catcalls.
Read the rest of this story at wsj.com
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