The Arizona Wildcats’ win at No. 3 UCLA on Saturday carried much significance in a variety of ways — team building with Allonzo Trier back, magnitude in program history, the Pac-12 standings and an improved national perception.
Earlier this week, I wrote an article about Arizona having its lowest ranking of No. 14 with only two losses by the time the calendar hit Jan. 15.
The national media and AP Top 25 voters were waiting for the Wildcats to prove themselves.
That objective was reached in the 96-85 win over freshman sensation Lonzo Ball and the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion.
The following is a look at how national media types reacted to Miller and the Wildcats defeating the Bruins.
If a national coach of the year vote was taken right now, Sean Miller would come out on top.
Arizona. Damn. Sean Miller has done an amazing job with this team. Amazing.
Sean Miller. National Coach of the Year.
Sean Miller. Damn. People need to stop getting on him for not getting to Final 4. Hell of a coach. Win at UCLA… https://t.co/41m5ScbaFd
Sean Miller is an excellent coach. Bigs are a handful w inside/outside skilled game. Lauri Markkanen is the best big in the country.
This Arizona team is ridiculously impressive. They have no right to be this good after what they went through. Sean Miller is a wizard.
Miller can take credit for T.J. McConnell’s rise in the NBA because he coached him up for two years.
Arizona now has analysts saying it can go all of the way or at least to the Final Four.
What a win for Arizona. Trier back. Final Four now a legitimate goal again. Race with UCLA, Arizona, Oregon… https://t.co/DdfqERPCKY
Lauri Markkanen getting some NBA love after his 18 points, most against former Arizona recruit T.J. Leaf.
Had a coach suggest to me in October that Lauri Markkanen was the best NBA prospect Sean Miller has had at Arizona. He's a flat-out stud.
For those unsure coming in, thought this game showed how huge the gap is between Lauri Markkanen and TJ Leaf as NBA prospects.
0.0% chance anyone takes Leaf over Lauri Markkanen after watching this match up
Allonzo Trier made a grand entrance into the college basketball season with 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Allonzo Trier ladies and gentlemen
Allonzo Trier hasn't played in a college basketball game in over 10 months. This is pretty damn impressive.
Kobi Simmons must have turned heads of the many NBA scouts in attendance with his career-high 20 points with six rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Kobi Simmons should just declare for the draft after this game.
Minus the tech Kobi Simmons having a day w/ Alford defending. Can be valuable in the NBA some day as a microwave scorer if the J is falling
Kadeem Allen had some athletic plays and his defense on UCLA sharpshooter Bryce Alford for most of the game was an important subplot.
Let me know when Kadeem Allen comes back down to earth thanks
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.