"We lost a game we could have won," Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. "Jordan Adams hit a great shot and I believe some of the things that we learned in today's game will better serve us for the biggest prize and why we all do this and that is to hopefully be able to advance next week in the NCAA Tournament."
It was not necessarily just coach speak by Miller, as Nick Johnson agrees with his assessment.
"I mean, it's obviously tough to lose this one because that was a big game for us," he said. "But ultimately it is about the NCAA Tournament. I mean, that was our overall goal. We just have to learn lessons from what we did today and take it into the tournament."
Miller gave plenty of credit to UCLA after the game, but believes that the postgame message was always going to be the same.
"We lost to an excellent team," Miller said. "It was a war from start to finish and I thought the game could have gone either way. The one point I made to our guys is that this deal is about next week for us. If we won the championship, it's about next week. If we lost this championship, it's about next week."
If anything positive is to be taken away from the loss, it is that Miller feels that Arizona learned a lesson or two on Saturday.
"The couple of lessons that I feel like we really learned that will help us in the NCAA tournament is that they shot 58 percent in the first half and at times looked like we couldn't guard them," he said. "Then look at the stats in the second half.
"We were much better defensive in the second half, but we can't warm up for the first eight or ten minutes, spot them some baskets that we normally don't get and then expect to win in March."