Tolbert, Tigers Going for Sweep of Tide

Fresh off an 18-point 10-rebound performance in Wednesday night's victory over Arkansas, Frank Tolbert and the Tigers are hoping to get their first win at Alabama during the Jeff Lebo Era.

Auburn, Ala.--Having beaten Alabama 81-57 on Jan. 23, the Auburn Tigers make a return trip to Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, a place they haven't won since the 1998-1999 season.

"The fact that it's a rivalry brings more to it," says Auburn guard Frank Tolbert. "Going to Rupp (Arena) it's Kentucky, but when you go to Alabama it's Alabama vs. Auburn. The fans already don't like us, for some particular reason. The rivalry is what college basketball is all about. It's going to be fun to go in there and play.

"It gets crazy at times," he continues. "The fans are rowdy from the jump and even when we come out for the shoot around before the game. It's just wild and crazy but you have to go in there and put the fans aside and try to concentrate on the game."

At 5-8 in the SEC, Auburn still has a chance to finish first or last in the West. The Crimson Tide, just one game back of Mississippi State and Ole Miss at 6-7, is also jockeying for position in the standings and the SEC Tournament.

"It's a big opportunity just because it's a conference game," Tolbert explains. "We need to win as many as we can. We're coming off a big win and we were on a four-game losing streak. I feel that we won against Arkansas so we have more confidence going up to Tuscaloosa."

Auburn destroyed Alabama in the second half of the win earlier this season, but the Tigers know it won't be easy in a place they haven't won in the last seven tries. Auburn is just 1-5 on the road in the SEC and 1-8 away from Beard-Eaves this season.

"We were patient," Tolbert says of the first game with the Tide. "We played team ball and played good team defense. We worked the ball in and out and it was just a good night.

"It's a pretty big win because that's our rival. We hadn't beaten them in the past three years. It was one of the biggest wins we've had since I've been here. That game was in the past and they've been playing good ball the past couple of games even though they did lose to Tennessee. They took them into overtime and lost by three. They've been playing pretty good ball the last few weeks."

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