So, I did the numbers on this, because I thought the answer was “Mid-majors who make the NCAA’s tend to do so on the back of great outside shooting and disciplined offensive play to make up for mid-major athleticism, etc. And that happens to be the Packline’s primary weakness.”
Turns out, we have not generally been losing to blistering outside shooting. Furman hit 35% of their 3s against us vs a season average of 34% (which is also exactly what UVA allowed, on average). Last year in the NIT, Miss State hit 31% (against their season average of 30%). In '21, Ohio hit 31% of their 3s while averaging 35% on the season. Gardner-Webb hit 39%, but they averaged 38% on the season. UMBC really did go nuts, hitting 50% of their 3s. They were a good outside shooting team, averaging 38%, but they still obviously outperformed.
So, 3 of those 5 teams shot within 1% of their season average on 3s against us, one shot dramatically better, and one shot modestly worse. The point being, we didn’t lose those games because our opponents perfectly took advantage of the Packline’s weakness.
In fact, the answer is the opposite. Sure, many factors combined to make those losses happened, but imo the single biggest one is that UVA’s outside shooting turns into utter trash in those games. Over those five games, UVA shot over 30% from 3 once (and it was barely over 30%, 30.4% vs Gardner-Webb) and under 20% THREE TIMES. The 5th game was vs Ohio when we shot 25.8%.
UVA wasn’t a great outside shooting team in all of those games, but the squad was at a minimum solidly above average in 3 of them. Not only did UVA go 2-12 vs Furman but 3, but the squad also went 2-12 from 3 against Miss State and, of course, 4-22 against UMBC. 7-23 against Gardner-Webb was the best performance, and by a solid margin.
I have no idea why its happening, but that’s probably the single biggest issue in first round games.