Arizona dominated the offensive glass and the turnover battle, but was outshot at the free throw line 25-3. After the game Lute Olson was critical of the all-ACC officiating crew.
"With the all-ACC crew we ended up shooting three free throws," said Olson. "I really think if it's going to be a 'national tournament' we need to make it a national tournament, not just a totally all East Coast officiating crew.
"We're not usually somebody that complains about that kind of thing, but I don't think it takes a Rhodes Scholar to figure out if you get three free throws and they get 25 that something is out of whack."
Arizona shot a paltry 32.1 percent from the field, but committed just eight turnovers. It held Wake Forest to just 42.6 percent.
Adams led the team with 19 points, but missed a number of shots he normally makes.
In fact, both point guards had bad shooting nights. Paul had just four points, while Shakur scored only two.
It is the first loss for Arizona at Madison Square Garden. It came in with a chance to win its fourth N.I.T.