Monson: Try to ask it with a straight face: Can BYU beat the country’s top team?

First Published      Last Updated Feb 01 2017 07:37 pm

The question sounds stupid.

It sounds outrageous.

Even worse, it sounds hilarious. Like it was written into a cartoon. Like you get the squirt of a seltzer bottle up your nose or thumped over your head with a rubber chicken at its end. Like the kind of question Moe would slap Curly across the mug for so unwittingly daring to ask.

It's a question that kind of answers itself, punctuated with a … duh. It seems more the punch line to a bad joke than any kind of sensible inquiry. Like something Woody Woodpecker would answer with 10 pecks and a cackle before flying away to more serious matters.

You can't even get it out without busting up laughing along the way.

Let's try.

Can BYU … ha-ha-ha-HA-ha … beat … ppfffwww … the No. 1-ranked … hehehehe … team … bwahahaha … in … yukyukyuk … the … no, no, no, please, stop … country?

You're killing us.

We're talking basketball here, not volleyball, not cross-country, not drill-team dancing.

Can Dave Rose's squad, which has been sort of all right on some nights, really put a big ol' L on a team currently thought to be the best in the land? Better than Kansas, better than Villanova, better than Louisville, better than Kentucky, better than Carolina.

Can a team that lost on its home floor to Utah Valley by 13 points, a team that got beat by San Diego, a team that fell to Santa Clara, find enough within itself to suddenly rise up and defeat the 22-0 Gonzaga Bulldogs?

Sniff. Chortle. Guffaw.

There are some things BYU has going for it … and as soon as we think of any of them we'll let you know.

Hold on …

Still waiting …

There's this: The Cougars are playing the freshly elevated Zags on Thursday night in the friendly confines of the Marriott Center, where, despite the loss to UVU this season and the loss to Pacific last season, they usually play much more aggressively and confidently.

There's also, however, a lingering thought that a not-as-good Gonzaga team last season came to Provo and defeated BYU.

Maybe the notion that it's Gonzaga, a fellow WCC team, a program with which BYU is familiar, a team it beat in Spokane last year, despite the subsequent home loss and a loss in the league tournament, will spur on the Cougars, give them more hope against the nation's top-ranked team. If it were the Jayhawks or the Wildcats or the Cardinals or the Blue Devils coming in, it might freak out a young BYU team a bit more.

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Gonzaga at BYU

Thursday, 9 p.m.