Wyoming’s Un-Sweet 16: No. 1 Reid Family vs. No. 16 Paco Larsen
LARAMIE -- There's a few things that can land you on a list like this one.
Beating Wyoming with regularity certainly makes you a thorn in the side. Making stupid decisions will also draw the ire of fans. Being an all-round jerk will do it, too.
This is our version of the Un-Sweet 16, pitting the biggest villains in Wyoming Cowboys basketball history against one another and eventually crowning the worst of the worst. This won't be our opinion, it's yours. You can vote for who will advance to the next round by clicking on the box at the bottom of this page.
We did our best to round up the ultimate enemy of the Cowboy State. We reached out to people in the know, from different decades of UW hoops. Don't be surprised to see plenty of rivals on this list.
Here's today's matchup:
No. 1 Reid Family vs. No. 16 Paco Larsen
"There is something inherently annoying about these virtuous, square-jawed sibs with the Bart Connor 'dos and Donny Osmond smiles."
If that doesn't describe the BYU backcourt duo of Robbie and Randy Reid, I don't know what does.
You can find that sentence above in a 1995 Sports Illustrated article titled "Stormin' Mormons."
"Of course, you can't blame opponents for being irked by the Reids," the article continues.
Count Cowboys fans as irked and annoyed by the brothers, who played together in Provo during the 1993-95 season. To make matters more vexing, their father, Roger Reid, was the Cougars head coach.
Randy Reid, a 6-foot-2 guard, began his career at BYU during the '92 campaign. Robbie showed up a year later.
During their two years together, the Cougars went 44-20 overall and made one trip to the NCAA Tournament in 1995 (Randy also helped lead BYU to the tourney in 1993). The Reids topped the Cowboys both times that winter, including a 58-52 victory inside the Arena-Auditorium. In fact, Randy finished his career 7-1 against Wyoming. Robbie, who transferred to Michigan after his sophomore season, topped the Pokes three times in four tries.
Roger, who coached at BYU from 1989-96, was 10-4 all-time against UW. He resigned seven games into the 1996 season. Interim coach Tony Ingle took both L's against the Cowboys that year.
Roger did have one memorable quote about the UW faithful. That came during the 1991 WAC tournament, played inside the Arena-Auditorium. The Cougars played Hawaii in the semifinals before meeting rival Utah in the title game. The home crowd was a fan of anyone who played BYU.
“I look at it this way. We’re the underdogs," he told the Deseret News. "Saddam Hussein could have been playing tonight, and they’d have cheered him.”
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Colorado State wasn't exactly considered a threat when 6-foot-9 Paco Larsen (1983-87) roamed the paint.
He faced the Pokes nine times. He dropped seven of those.
The Rams' enforcer, however, helped change the mindset and trajectory of the program in Ft. Collins. The year after Larsen graduated, CSU won the regular-season WAC title and made a run all the way to a third-place finish in the NIT.
The following season the Rams made it to the Big Dance and knocked off Florida in the opening round.
You might recall, Wyoming was also dominant in these days, making the tourney in 1987 and 88.
Larsen banged heads with Jon Sommers, Eric Leckner, Fennis Dembo and others.
Larsen's stats won't wow you. He averaged just 2.4 points and 1.3 rebounds per game during his CSU tenure. The New Mexico native, though, brought grit and toughness, drawing the ire of UW fans. So did his huge head of hair, which earned him the nickname the "Human Sweater."
Wyoming won more times than not in those days, but it was not a cake walk around the rack.