Kentucky is 22-8 overall, 12-5 in the Southeastern Conference. Alabama is 12-18 overall, 6-11 in league play.
Kentucky leads the series 103-37, including 54-10 in Lexington. This is the only meeting between the teams in the regular season.
Kentucky closes the regular season Saturday at Florida. Game time is noon and will be telecast on CBS.
Kentucky started seniors Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson, along with Aaron Harrison, Julius Randle and Willie Cauley-Stein.
Hood and Polson opened the UK scoring by each making a 3-pointer to give the Wildcats a 6-4 lead.
The half was played at a deliberate pace with five ties, five lead changes and neither team leading by more than four points. Alabama’s Shannon Hale hit a 3-pointer to send the Crimson Tide to a 28-25 halftime advantage.
Trailing 32-28, Kentucky went on a 15-2 run for a 43-34 lead.
Randle began the spurt with a pair of baskets.
Aaron Harrison broke a 32-all tie and put Kentucky ahead to stay with a 3-pointer.
Dakari Johnson got a pair of baskets, ending the run with a dunk off a missed foul shot.
Trailing 45-36, Alabama made an 11-3 run to get within one at 48-47 but that was the Tide’s final basket of the game.
Kentucky responded with a basket by Johnson, a 3-pointer by Young and two foul shots by Randle to stretch the lead back out to 55-47. Meanwhile the UK defense held Alabama without a basket for the final five minutes of the game.
Kentucky finished the regular season with a 16-2 home record (.889).
Kentucky limited Alabama to 48 points, the fewest UK has allowed this season.
UK now 36-0 under Coach John Calipari when holding the opponent to 55 or fewer points.
UK dominated the rebounding 41-27, leading to an 18-3 advantage in second-chance points.
Aaron Harrison collected seven points, was second on the team in rebounds with six, and tied for a game-high three assists.
Julius Randle had 12 points and 11 rebounds, his 17th double-double of the season.