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San Diego • You can call it enormous, huge, epic, gargantuan, or any other form of hyperbole you wish.

But for the No. 7 BYU Cougars and star senior guard Jimmer Fredette, Saturday's nationally televised showdown (CBS, noon MST) at No. 4 San Diego State's sold-out Viejas Arena in front of more than 12,000 revenge-minded fans against the 27-1 Aztecs is about something else.

To BYU and Fredette, this one means validation.

Just as some betting games in golf require a birdie to be validated on the next hole with a par to earn a payout, the Cougars have plenty at stake despite having won Round 1 by 13, with a late explosion of points, exactly a month ago in Provo.

Because the Cougars lost three days later at New Mexico, this one is for all the marbles.

In Reader's Digest form: there's the probable conference title, their top-10 national ranking, their reputation as a potential national power and, perhaps more important than anything, their shot at a No. 2 seed — or possibly a No. 1, if they can run the table — in next month's NCAA Tournament.

"It's a big game in every aspect," Fredette said. "Obviously, it was a huge game last time at our place [a 71-58 BYU win, which still stands asSDSU's only loss]. The game becomes even bigger because ... it is on national television. Everyone is going to be watching it. Everyone wants to see what is going on."

To see if the 6-foot-2 scoring machine can drop another 43 points on a team that only gives up 58 a game. And to see if the nation's leading scorer is really all that, most of the nation having only seen highlights of those jaw-dropping 30-foot shots and nifty moves at the hoop.

And to see if the senior can prove he is first-round NBA draft material in the face of frenzied, BYU- and Jimmer-obsessed Aztec fans — the superstar and his school having pretty much owned SDSU the past four years to invoke some off-the-charts angst.

"If I had a vote, I would vote him for National Player of the Year," said SDSU coach Steve Fisher, who hasn't downplayed the significance or enormity of the game this week. "He's very, very good, and he knows it."

Ever the team-first proponent, Fredette quickly points out that this one isn't about him, although he's been sensational against the Aztecs throughout his career, which is partly why their fans have chanted, "We want Jimmer, We want Jimmer," in recent games leading up to this one.

"You know, it could help our team and what we want to accomplish. And it could help myself and what I want to accomplish," Fredette said. "But it is not the end of the world. Regardless of whether we win or lose, it is not going to make or break us. But it would be nice to win and have a good game. That's what we are prepared to do."

Students have camped out for days to get tickets, while some ducats are going for $1,000 or more on ticket and auction websites. Many are calling it the biggest basketball game in the history of the city of San Diego.

School officials believe it will be the first time in 22 years that a regular-season BYU basketball game will be on national television. Coach Dave Rose said this is what both teams and the conference hoped it would be when CBS announced it was picking up the game last fall ­— a rarity for the Mountain West Conference.

To think that the combined record of the teams is 53-3, with one of those losses to the other, is mind-boggling, Rose said, while discounting the notion that pretty much everything is on the line for the Cougars.

"The bottom line is, CBS picked our game a long time ago and both teams have played well enough to make it a relevant game. We can all be proud about that," he said. "Yeah, it is a big game."

Keys to the matchup?

Rose said the Cougars need to score consistently and avoid long scoring droughts such as the one against New Mexico in the second half that resulted in BYU's only conference loss to date.

"You can't have long droughts because that just feeds the frenzy of the opposing team," he said. "If you can consistently score points throughout the game, that kind of keeps the roof on."

Fredette totally outplayed SDSU point guard D.J. Gay in Round 1 — Gay was 0 for 7 from the field, but he did have four assists — and has generally dominated his fellow senior during their mirroring careers. Fredette is 7-2 in his career against the Aztecs, and one of those losses came when he was a freshman and barely played.

The two point guards, both finalists for the Bob Cousy Award (which recognizes the nation's best point guard) have a "friendly" rivalry, Fredette said.

"I have had some great battles with him over the years," Fredette said. "It is always fun to go against him ... and it is good to be able to go against him one more time."

BYU at San Diego State

At Viejas Arena, San Diego

Tipoff: Noon, MST


Radio: 1160 AM and 102.7 FM

Records: BYU 26-2, 12-1; SDSU 27-1, 12-1

Series record: BYU leads, 47-22

Last meeting: BYU 71, SDSU 58 (Jan. 26)

About the Cougars: They have won six straight games. ... They lead the conference in points per game (83.0). ... Guard Jimmer Fredette leads the country with a 27.4 scoring average. ... They conclude MWC play with two home games next week, against New Mexico and Wyoming. ... 26-2 is the best record after 28 games in program history.

About the Aztecs: Their only loss this season was to BYU. ... They are led in scoring and rebounding by Kawhi Leonard (15.2 ppg and 10.7 rpg). ... They lead the MWC in fewest points allowed per game, 58.6, and field-goal percentage defense (39.3 percent). ... They have lost six of their past seven games against BYU, including the past two at Viejas Arena. —

Jimmer vs. San Diego State

Date Location FG FT Pts Result

Senior season

Jan. 26, 2011 Provo 14-24 10-11 43 BYU, 71-58

Junior season

Feb. 24, 2010 Provo 8-17 6-11 26 BYU, 82-68

Jan. 23, 2010 San Diego 11-19 6-6 33 BYU, 71-69

Sophomore season

March 13, 2009 Las Vegas 5-14 6-7 17 SDSU, 64-62

Feb. 24, 2009 San Diego 10-19 6-6 28 BYU, 69-59

Jan. 24, 2009 Provo 3-3 2-6 8 BYU, 77-71

Freshman season

March 14, 2008 Las Vegas 0-4 0-0 0 BYU, 63-54

Feb. 23, 2008 San Diego 1-4 0-0 3 SDSU, 69-65

Jan. 23, 2008 Provo 4-8 0-0 11 BYU 59-56