Kentucky 79, Alabama 67

ATLANTA (AP) - Kentucky's Ramel Bradley and Randolph Morris scored 17 points apiece to lead five players in double figures to help Kentucky (21-10) overcome a slow start to beat Alabama 79-to-67 in the opening round of the SEC basketball tournament.

The loss likely cost the 20-and-11 Crimson Tide, which got as high as Number 4 in The Associated Press rankings early in the season, any hope of making the NCAA tournament.

Alabama will go down as one of the year's biggest disappointments, their slide caused by injuries, erratic play and a lack of toughness.

Richard Hendrix led Alabama with 21 points. Alonzo Gee added 15 and Jamareo Davidson, who played with a bad back, had 12. Point guard Ronald Steele played only 12 minutes because of an ailing knee, managing just 2 points and one assist.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)