Wyoming’s Un-Sweet 16: No. 1 Reid Family vs. No. 8 Key Injuries
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. 8 Key Injuries
"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.”
MORE UW ATHLETICS NEWS VIA 7220SPORTS:
* UW hoops great Theo Ratliff gets call to Alabama Hall
* Want to watch Josh Allen crush some dingers?
* 100 Wyoming student-athletes honored at Stole Ceremony
* Wyoming wideout patiently carving out his role
We had to throw in a curve ball during this series, right?
Well, here it is.
When it comes to key injuries, Wyoming, unfortunately, has had some memorable ones. You don't have to go too far back in history to find an impactful one, either.
The Cowboys were receiving preseason Top-25 votes. The league's media and coaches said Jeff Linder's squad would likely finish second, behind only San Diego State. Andy Katz, a national college basketball figure, even said UW could be a "dark horse" in the NCAA Tournament and make a run to the Final Four.
We all know what happened next.
Graham Ike, the Mountain West's Preseason Player of the Year, never stepped foot on the court thanks to a lingering right foot issue. Initially, he was supposed to miss 6-to-8 weeks. Turns out the 6-foot-10, 255-pound sophomore had already played his final game in a Wyoming uniform the previous March.
Here are some high-profile names who have suffered season-ending injuries in Laramie. Avert your eyes if you have a weak stomach: Larry Nance Jr., Ugo Udezue, Queint Higgins, Mike Jackson, Afam Muojeke, Hunter Maldonado and, arguably the worst of them all, Marcus Bailey.
If you have followed this program since the late 90's, that's an image that won't leave your head. Coming off an upset victory over Gonzaga in the Big Dance a year prior and returning a majority of its roster, the Pokes were primed to make another run at a league title and a trip to March Madness.
That all but died on a Thursday night inside the Arena-Auditorium when Bailey went in for an uncontested layup in a rout of South Carolina.
After a 7-2 start and wins over Texas Tech and USC, Wyoming capped its conference season with an 8-6 mark and earned an NIT berth.
"He'll have surgery here soon and get off to a new challenge," UW head coach Steve McClain told the AP back in 2002. "This really hurts him because he's a Wyoming kid and grew up wanting to play Wyoming basketball. He had the passion to play here."
There is a ton of talent in that list above. Udezue graced the pages of Sports Illustrated after netting 20.5 points per night as a sophomore. Higgins is still widely regarded as the biggest recruit in program history. Nance still plays in the NBA today, suiting up for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Oh, what could have been.
WYOMING'S UN-SWEET 16 SERIES:
Monday: No. 1 Reid Family vs. No. 16 Paco Larsen (Reid Family moves on with 95.5% of the vote)
Tuesday: No. 2 Danny Ainge vs. No. 15 Antonio Davis (Ainge moves on with 93.4% of the vote)
Wednesday: No. 3 Rick Majerus vs. No. 14 David Turcotte (Majerus moves on with 92% of the vote)
Thursday: No. 4 Frank Arnold vs. No. 13 Lee Cummard (Arnold moves on with 74.8% of the vote)
Friday: No. 5 Larry Eustachy vs. No. 12 Joe Scott (Eustachy moves on with 58.1% of the vote)
Monday: No. 6 Michael Smith vs. No. 11 Norm Ellenberger (Smith moves on with 61.4% of the vote)
Tuesday: No. 7 Rafael Araujo vs. No. 10 Petie Gibson (Araujo moves on with 94.8% of the vote)
Wednesday: No. 8 Key Injuries vs. No. 9 MW Officials (Key Injuries moves on with 72% of the vote)