I am a proud Hoya (CAS '79, uggh) who has bled blue and gray since that time. I have been around the ups and downs through the three mens bball regimes on the Hilltop. I took a first class flight back from a business trip to Florida so I could watch the 1984 final at my favorite sports bar in Philly. I was at the final game in Lexington in 1985, been to many games in Landover, the Garden and even at the Conte forum at BC. I was in Providence when Ohio handed us our head a few years ago. Just saying that I have a good appreciation of our history and have thought about these events quite a bit.
I am also a bit of a quant (I run a polling institute at the small college I teach at in New England).
And here are the brutal facts ...
We won the Big East Tournament in 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989 and 2007
We made the Elite Eight or better in 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1996 and 2007.
Do you see the pattern? In every year but 1996 (when we lost the Big East in the final moments) we don't go deep in the Tourney unless we win the Big East. Why?
I am enough of a social scientist that I know it isn't just one explanation for this exceptional correlation. Clearly the reason we don't win the BE tourney is that our team isn't the best in that particular year. However, I am guessing that there may be too high an emphasis on the Big East tournament so that when we don't win (with good teams) we do not enter the tournament with the right type of mindset and intensity. If the goal is to win the NCAA perhaps it takes a different type of strategic thinking? I am very interested to see what others have to say.
PS - FGCU just whipped SDSU worse than they beat us.