Wyoming’s Un-Sweet 16: No. 7 Rafael Araujo vs. No. 10 Petie Gibson
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 basketball. Don't be surprised to see plenty of rivals on this list.
Here's today's matchup:
No. 7 Rafael Araujo vs. No. 10 Petie Gibson
BYU allowed its student-athletes to have tattoos back in 2004, they just weren't permitted to get inked while attending the ultra-conservative religious institution.
That was good news for 6-foot-11, 265-pound forward Rafael Araujo, who was nothing short of a walking billboard for the school for two seasons in the early 2000's.
His tats made him standout, his smirk -- and game -- made him a disliked figure amongst fans across the Mountain West.
Araujo played against Wyoming five times during his brief career in Provo. He won all of them, including a 79-74 victory over the Cowboys in the second round of the '04 conference tourney in Denver. That night in the Mile High City, Araujo netted 17 points and pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds.
He was known to have big games against the Pokes.
Araujo, who was named the league's Player of the Year and earned All-American status in '04, averaged 16.4 points per outing -- a high of 24 during his senior season inside the Arena-Auditorium -- to go along with nearly 10 rebounds. He hit just 6-of-17 shots that night in Laramie, but he added a career-best 12 free throws on an eye-popping 17 attempts.
That's the definition of maddening.
Let's face it, most of us didn't like Araujo for two reasons: one, he was dominant, helping lead the Cougars to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances Two, it appears BYU turned a blind eye to its own honor code to land the dominant Brazilian.
During his senior year, it was alleged the school doctored media guide photos of the big man, conveniently leaving out the ink that covered the top of both arms. BYU denied the allegations, stating the picture was from his junior season. Still, he obviously got new tats while attending the institution, a big no-no -- or so we thought.
"We have touched up photos for years -- as far as removing tattoos, covering up belly buttons, just things like that," School spokesman Duff Tittle told the Salt Lake Tribune.
Tittle was also quoted as saying the new ink Araujo had applied in the offseason was "dealt with."
He never missed a game for disciplinary reasons.
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Edward "Speedy" Petie Gibson stood just 5-foot-8 -- ish.
Pest would be the best way to describe the lightning quick guard, who would go on to dish 560 assists -- the sixth most in program history -- in just three seasons (freshmen weren't allowed to play in those days). Gibson is in the Top 10 for most single-season assists three times, too, including 198 during the 1970-71 campaign. That's still the fifth most in Lobo lore.
While Petie himself could fill the bucket, averaging more than 11 points per game, he was a magician when it came to finding Lobo teammates like Greg Howard, Ron Sanford, Willie Long, Ron Becker, Mike Faulkner and many others.
Think Sean Dent feeding Fennis Dembo and Eric Leckner. Special stuff.
Despite knocking off Wyoming just twice in six attempts, longtime UW color analyst Kevin McKinney suggested the New Mexico Hall of Famer for this list.
Gibson (1968-71) was named a second-team All-America for college players under six feet. Yes, that was a thing.
By all accounts, Petie is a true gentleman. He's been an educator in the Land of Enchantment for more than four decades and even coaches youth basketball. His humble nature can be partially credited to the spirit of his grandfather, Josh Gibson, one of the greatest Negro League players in baseball history.
He certainly didn't make this list because he's a villain in the sense of some -- Danny Ainge, Lee Cummard and Rick Majerus come to mind -- he was just the best player in the conference at his position during that era.
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)