Virginia is one of the most polarizing programs in college basketball. Critics will point to its loss against 16-seed UMBC as proof that the Cavaliers can’t win when the lights are brightest, along with previous NCAA tournament defeats. Optimists will remind you that Virginia won 31 games last season and is a powerhouse in the ACC every year.

Virginia is great. That can’t be argued. But then the debate shifts: Is Virginia’s defense-first, slowpoke style the best way to win a national championship?

MORE: Vote on the college basketball preseason player of the year

But that’s also missing the point. There’s no tangible reason why Virginia’s style wouldn’t translate from February to March. But, there’s something to be said for stylistic diversity. Virginia shouldn’t change too much; it just went 31-3. But if an opponent takes away what you do best on a given night, as UMBC did, what’s your counter?

Virginia needs to develop better counters; simply put, it needs more ways to win. Tinkering with foreign concepts might even hurt Virginia’s regular season win total. But that’s O.K. It if helps come NCAA tournament time, it will be worth it.

Here are some things Virginia can do this year to better prepare itself for March.

Apply token full-court pressure occasionally

Virginia had the No. 1 defense in the country last season and opponents’ average possession length was 18.8 seconds against Cavaliers, the fifth-longest in the land. The former is obviously great, and usually, the latter is too. It means Virginia is forcing a bunch of last-second heaves.

The Cavaliers shouldn’t deviate from the Pack Line too much. But Virginia’s most glaring weakness is that it struggles when playing from behind. Its system is predicated on playing with a lead (and UVA usually is), but during the rare times it’s not, bleeding the clock does Virginia no favors.