A fourth-quarter push by Kentucky started the Alabama women’s basketball team’s longest losing streak of the season in January. Another strong finish by the Wildcats ended the Crimson Tide’s NCAA Tournament hopes on the first day of March. 

UA made an early exit from the SEC Tournament in Nashville, losing 71-64 to Kentucky in the second round. The Wildcats scored 48 of their 71 points in the second half.

The loss dropped the Crimson Tide’s RPI to 94, a number far outside the typical range for a team receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

There’s no doubt, it’s disappointing to coach Kristy Curry and her six seniors. Alabama made it clear the team’s goal was to reach the NCAA Tournament this season, but now the Crimson Tide will have to settle for the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.

If there’s a silver lining to UA’s unfortunate situation, Alabama’s six seniors could have the chance to play another home game at Coleman Coliseum. The Crimson Tide already celebrated senior night on Feb. 14 against Auburn.

Alabama has bid to host a WNIT frist-round game, but will not know if it was accepted until Monday, March 12. Last season the Crimson Tide hosted three WNIT games, winning all three before losing on the road in the quarterfinals.

In 2016 Alabama’s first-round bid to the WNIT was not accepted, and UA lost its opening game at Tulane.

The first round of the 2018 WNIT takes place March 14-16.