Alabama-Birmingham did everything right while taking a 26-7 lead in the first 8 1/2 minutes and eliminated defending champion Indiana, 80-70, in the second round of the NCAA Mideast Regional today.

Oliver Robinson scored 23 points as the 17th-ranked Blazers (24-5) never let Indiana (19-10) get any closer than eight points after the opening minutes.

"They just got too far away from us," Coach Bob Knight of Indiana said. "We couldn't catch up."

Coach Gene Bartow of UAB said that after UAB got ahead, "We fought for our lives."

In an earlier second-round game, Louisville, ranked 20th, routed Middle Tennessee State, 81-56.

Louisville (21-9) advances to next week's regional semifinals in Birmingham. It will play the winner of Sunday's game between Minnesota and Tennessee-Chattanooga. UAB, which has won 11 straight, will play the other regional semifinal on its home court against the winner of Sunday's Virginia-Tennessee game.

"Our defense the first 10 minutes was the key," Bartow said. "We had a streak in the first half where we did almost nothing wrong offensively and defensively."

Robinson had eight points in the first 8 1/2 minutes. The Blazers led, 32-13, with 8:19 left in the opening half. They led at the half, 40-22.

In the first game, Derek Smith and Jerry Eaves led Louisville, which began its full-court press after falling behind, 12-5. Charles Jones' two foul shots put the Cardinals ahead for good, 22-20. The 1980 national champions led by 30 points lead late in the game and MTSU ruined it chances with 26 turnovers.

"We were a little tight initially," Coach Denny Crum of Louisville said, "but once we got into the flow with our pressure defense and got the tempo where we wanted it, we were all right."

MTSU (22-9), which upset Kentucky here Thursday night, led until Eaves put Louisville ahead, 16-14, with a three-point play. Louisville led at the half, 30-22, and was never threatened again.

Coach Stan Simpson of MTSU said his team's victory over Kentucky drained it emotionally.

"I don't think people realize the impact to a team like ours, beating Kentucky," Simpson said. "It's like the Boy Scouts beating the Russians."