Too Boring? UVA Darden Professor Lauds UVA Basketball Team’s Surgical Precision

08 April 2019

By Dave Hendrick

If you follow the University of Virginia men’s basketball team, you know the knock from the national media. The pace of play is too slow. The team too boring.

The criticism comes despite an unprecedented run of success, with the team holding a 34-3 record and playing in the NCAA Tournament championship final.

Like many who follow the standout squad, Darden School of Business Professor Kimberly Whitler had heard enough.

Writing on, Whitler, a professor in the Marketing area, says not every team has the same set of strengths, and expecting all teams to look or act alike makes no sense in basketball or business.

Being a great competitor is about finding a win — or growing market share — given your resources, capabilities, skills, and assets relative to those against whom you are competing. If you aren’t the biggest (or land the top 5 players), you have to find another way to win. It’s imperative to establish a unique position in the competitive arena that enables your brand (or basketball team) to win given your set of resources, talent, assets, etc.

Congratulations go to Tony Bennett, Chris Beard, and the UVA and Texas Tech basketball programs. Like great marketers, they have found a way to win, despite not having Zion, by introducing a new brand of cerebral basketball that is not only thrilling to watch (if you have the patience to learn about great defense) but able to compete with and beat those teams that the experts have anointed as the best.

May the best team win Monday night; however, the real winners may be the fans who get to see a great brand of basketball–one that is surgical and precise!

Read the full piece on and Go Hoos!

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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