My main question is, why does it seem most of our teams are unable to get hit at the right time? Teams on a roll or higher seeded get to the tourney and then roll over and die. Why are our teams so rarely prepared for a tourney?
The easy answer is that for the curse there is no explanation...
How much of it is that the first championship season is the hard one, and there is even more pressure when you have failed before? It is hard to win, experience winning has to help.
It also could seem worse than it is. Despite how it feels, we may not be that far off from what you would expect in a fairly evenly balanced field in a tournament where ups and downs are magnified to start with.
It sure seems that we are not ever quite up to the regular season performance, and especially in game 1. Still, the MAC in most sports is fairly evenly balanced and maybe when it seems we aren't ready it is just that we are not very much better than anybody else even if we are a little better to get a good seed. Anytime the field is even that means in a tournament it is more important to get hot.
So the question becomes, is there any way to really plan on getting hot?
You can't plan on getting hot, but you can plan on playing your best. The women's basketball team getting owned by WMU just weeks after destroying that team? The way the ladies have played in some tourneys it's like they couldn't wait for the season to be over. Softball on a roll then gets completely shut down first game. Men's basketball have zero tourney success for almost two decades. Baseball flaming out when it had Bryan Bullington, et al and recent poor tourney performances. Tennis teams having great regular seasons and then bombing. On and on and on.
And they manage to disappoint. I can't see any systematic reason why we would have coaches and teams a lot different than anyone, and I wonder how many teams consistently do well in similar situations.
There certainly was a down period in basketball that we can ascribe to a series of events, and as a rule we do not pay coaches at the top of the MAC. But, that doesn't explain how you do well in regular season and then crash. My hypothesis that it looks worse than it actually is would require too much research, and much of it simply stirring up bad memories, either way. I am not ready to do that work...maybe in the depths of summer doldrums in sports.