COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Mo Finley knocked another top seed out of the NCAA Tournament.
Finley hit an 18-foot jumper with 12 seconds remaining as No. 9 Alabama-Birmingham stunned Kentucky, 76-75, in a second-round game of the St. Louis Region.
"It's pretty unbelievable, but we worked hard this season and we had a ton of 6 a.m. workouts," Finley said. "I just think it's kind of deserving to come into the NCAA Tournament and get a win like this because we put in the work."
After his basket gave the Blazers (22-9) the lead, the 5-foot-11 Finley watched the final possession from his knees on the bench.
His prayers were answered when Kentucky's Gerald Fitch missed an open jumper and Chuck Hayes missed a desperation tip at the buzzer.
"We had the opportunity to make the plays and we just didn't," Kentucky guard Cliff Hawkins said. "We had too many turnovers down the stretch and that was the difference."
UAB, which led by as many as 14 points in the first half, advanced to the "Sweet 16" for the first time since 1982 and will face Kansas in the regional semifinals.
"When I thought about this game today, I thought, 'Man, are we dreaming?'", said UAB coach Mike Anderson, who was an assistant under Nolan Richardson when Arkansas won the national championship in 1994. "We're playing Kentucky and to win a ballgame against the great Kentucky with guys that nobody believed were supposed to be in the tournament. ..."
Kentucky (27-5) failed to reach the regional semifinals for the first time since 2000 and joined Stanford as top seeds who were eliminated in the second round. The Cardinal was ousted by Alabama on Saturday.
"The UAB Blazers, they came ready to play," Wildcats coach Tubby Smith. "They did whatever they had to get the game, to win the game, and that's what it's all about. They came in with a great attitude and a lot of energy."
After beating Washington, 102-100, in the first round, UAB continued to execute to near perfection in the first half against Kentucky.
The Blazers burned the Wildcats by making 6-of-11 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes and built a 14-point lead before settling for a 42-33 lead at the intermission.
"We knew coming into this game it was like David vs. Goliath and we were David, and I'll tell you what, David swung a mighty blow," Anderson added.
Kentucky, whose defense was suspect in its first-round win over Florida A&M, finally clamped down in the second half. The Wildcats took a 69-63 lead on Fitch's 3-pointer with 5:06 left, but UAB refused to fold.
Finley's 3-pointer put UAB back ahead, 72-71, with 1:37 left, the first of five lead changes during a frantic finish. Kelenna Azubuike's follow gave the Wildcats their final lead, 75-74, with 29 seconds remaining.
After UAB called timeout, the Blazers got the ball to Finley on the right wing. He faked, took one dribble to the right and calmly hit UAB's biggest shot in more than 20 years.
"Hopefully, I have a lot more games left in this tournament, but I don't know if it can get any better than this," Finley said.