NASHVILLE, TN (WBRC) - Although there's no such thing as moral victories, Alabama came as close as you can to having one against Kentucky Saturday afternoon.
The Tide lost 79-74 to the Wildcats in the SEC Tournament semifinal game.
"This is not a funeral. I'm not down on my guys, I absolutely love them. They poured their hearts out. When you looked at both teams tonight, we were right there with them til under three minutes. They fought hard," said Alabama head coach Avery Johnson.
"We fought hard. I thought our team did really well. There were times we were down 6 and fought back to come within 1 we fought hard and I liked our perseverance," said guard Riley Norris.
Alabama believes their heart-fought battle made a statement of how much they've improved this season.
"Our team has come a long way. After the first couple of games, if you told me we were going to play Kentucky in the semifinal game and lose by four or five points, I would have looked at you crazy," said forward Braxton Key.
Alabama sits at 19-14 overall and will now wait to see what their future holds in the postseason.
"I feel like we can play with anyone in the country and whatever postseason tournament we get in, we will be ready," said guard Dazon Ingram.
"Whatever post season pay we get in, we are trying to win it. We came in with the mindset to win this tournament, and we are just going to continue to work hard and allow the success we had in this tournament to carry over," Corbin Collins added.
Alabama has played in National Invitational Tournament the past two years.
Dazon Ingram led Bama in scoring with 17 points. Key also reached double digits with 11 points.
Key led with four assists while tying Norris with six rebounds.
Kentucky put three Wildcats in double figures. De'Aaron Fox led with 28, Malik Monk scored 20 and Edrice Adebayo finished with 10.
Adebayo finished one rebound shy of a double-double.