UAB, which took a 65-64 home victory last year over the Blue Raiders, hit 10 of 25 3-pointers and led by 16 with 9:53 to go.
The Blue Raiders (1-1) closed to 74-71 on three straight free throws by James Washington with 8 seconds to go, but Aaron Johnson answered with two foul shots 3 seconds later. James Gallman missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Middle Tennessee, coming off a 90-46 win over Tennessee Temple, shot only 36.7 percent from the field (22 of 60), making just 3 of 17 from long range.
Anthony Edwards throws it down in front of LeBron, AD
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The countdown to the 2020-21 college basketball season has begun. Your preparation begins right here.
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As the countdown to the 2020-21 college basketball season continues, ESPN's predictions series focuses on the top leagues beyond ... the top leagues.