Arizona has played the 15th-toughest nonconference schedule in the country, according to KenPom. The Wildcats faced six teams inside the KenPom top 21, including four straight in December.

And Arizona went 9-2.

“We didn’t win today, but we have winners,” coach Tommy Lloyd said after Saturday’s double-overtime loss to Florida Atlantic. “This team is built to have the type of conference season we all hope for and beyond. I’m not down. You can’t simulate those pressure scenarios. There’s going to be a lot we learn from. A lot of positives where we did go and make good plays and probably a few negatives we can learn from. Now that you’ve actually experienced beyond practice, it really helps.”

Arizona beat Duke on the road in its second game of the new season — no small feat considering all the changes that happened to the rotation during the offseason. It blasted the teams it was supposed to handle, then beat Michigan State on a neutral site. The Wildcats blasted Wisconsin at home, and ran away from Alabama last Wednesday.

They lost by eight to Purdue in Indianapolis, then suffered a 96-95 loss to the Owls on Saturday.

Arizona exploded out of the gates and led 17-3 in the game. But the contest proved to be a game of runs. In the end, FAU hit its shots.

“We told our guys these are the types of teams you’re going to play once you make a deep tournament run,” Lloyd said.

And Arizona expects to make a deep run. Lloyd’s first season ended in disappointment at the Sweet 16. His second season ended in frustration in the opening round. Arizona certainly looks like the favorite to win the Pac-12 again, and the early-season tests it received from big-time opponents will only help in that pursuit.

“That’s why we set up this schedule. I didn’t set up this schedule to go undefeated,” Lloyd said. “If our guys found a way to win all the games, I would have been really proud of them, but I am super proud of them. These guys did an incredible job and showed tremendous character today. We were down three different times, especially after being up big in the first half and they made some some runs. We weathered the storm a little bit and found a way to get back in the game and draw even both times. We had good shots down the end of each one of those regulation and overtime scenarios I feel good about it.”