It was more fast-paced than expected early, but Alabama turned it into a grinder. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist got UK going early, and two Doron Lamb three-pointers helped the Cats build a 20-12 lead, which turned out to be its biggest. Alabama started muscling UK inside and climbed within one, 20-19. UK led 37-32 at the half. UK could not shake the Tide and the lead was 49-48 with 12:37 left. It was still a two-point game with 37 seconds to go, but UK hit some late free throws, and an Anthony Davis block sealed it.
■ Anthony Davis, the nation's fourth-best field-goal maker at .658 percent, missed his first seven shots.
■ Alabama, shooting .269 on three-pointers going into the game, hit five of seven.
■ Alabama's Trevor Releford turned it on after going scoreless in the first half. He finished with 17 points and no turnovers.
■ In the final 6:57, UK's 15 points came at the foul line.
■ Alabama missed only one field goal in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
■ After going 4-for-11 at the foul line in the first half, UK was 8-for-8 in the final minute.
■ Six Cats scored in double figures for the first time since Feb. 19, 2005.
■ UK turned the ball over only eight times.
■ Kentucky did not always respond well to the physical play of Alabama.
■ Poor foul shooting early kept UK from extending its lead.