Fair or unfair what you do in the tournament matters. Matt Painter is arguably the best coach in the B1G and people always mention his lack of success in the tournament. You may not put stock in wins and losses in the tournament, but many more people do.
I'm not saying it doesn't matter to other people. I'm saying the proper way to evaluate a coach to decide if he should be fired is regular season. Matt painter proves my point. If a coach is arguably the best coach in the conference, he doesn't forget how to coach come tournament time. He's simply run into some bad luck. You don't fire a coach over a stretch of bad luck results in tournaments.
Fran raised the program from complete shit to bubble worthy. Then he raised it easily in but not a good enough team to have a decent path to the sweet 16 (Getting 7 or 10 seeds and facing a 2 seed in the 2nd round). Then he raised it to good seeds that have a legit shot at the sweet 16. That's where we were the 3 years prior to this year (which was a rebuilding year where we still easily got in).
That 3 year span is where the bad luck came in. One year he didn't even get to play in the tournament. The next he went from playing the latest game of the night Friday to the earliest game Sunday, against a team with a 1st round bye. The 3rd there was a 1st round upset (Frans firat round of 64 loss) when his All American got hurt. That sucked bad but was far from the first 5/12 upset.
In my mind, it's irrelevant how bad the program was in year 2 for him. It's irrelevant that he didn't "get lucky" as a Cinderella team when he turned us into a bubble team. It's irrelevant that he couldn't beat a 2 seed as a 10 seed. And it's only slightly relevant that he didn't get us there now that he has us in position with good seeds regularly.
I get the logic of saying he hasn't made it in 13 years. I just think that's extremely flawed and incomplete thinking. I can't imagine wanting to get rid of a coach who has the program in a position where he gets good seeds regularly, mostly because of what he didn't do back when we sucked as a program.