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March 4, 2013

Auburn roundup: MAX Capital City Classic raises childhood cancer awareness, plus men’s basketball & women’s hoops notes

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AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn’s 8-3, Alabama’s 8-3, and they’re playing a non-conference game Tuesday night for so much more than bragging rights.

The Tigers and Crimson Tide will go under the lights at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery Tuesday night for the fifth annual MAX Capital City Classic. The in-state rivals will play a baseball game to benefit the Vs. Cancer Foundation, joining the fight against childhood cancer.

Players and coaches from both teams will shave their heads on the field before first pitch, in honor of young kids battling disease.

“Cancer has no boundaries and touches all of our lives in many different ways,” Auburn head coach John Pawlowski said in a statement. “This is an opportunity to help give a child a fighting chance and enjoy all the blessings that surround us every day. We will gladly do our part, and I hope that others will step up and help contribute to a great cause. Together, we can make a difference and help conquer childhood cancer.”

Donations will be taken online at maxcapitalcityclassic.com and at the MAX Capital City Classic game. Fundraising benefits the Vs. Cancer Foundation, the Children’s Hospital of Alabama, and research efforts at UAB.

A limited amount of remaining tickets can be purchased at maxcapitalcityclassic.com and by calling (334) 323-2255.

Auburn has won each of the previous four MAX Capital City Classics. Auburn will start junior right-handed pitcher Dillon Ortman (0-1, 2.70 ERA), and bat against Alabama lefty Taylor Guilbeau (1-0, 2.61).

Popcorn for everyone: Among the promotions Auburn announced for Wednesday’s men’s basketball Senior Night festivities? A free box of popcorn for every fan in attendance.

The first 1,500 fans through the doors will receive a pennant from AU Bookstore, and prize giveaways include a flat-screen TV, mini iPad, gift cards and autographed paraphernalia.

$15 tickets in the 200 level are buy-one, get-one-free, and all-you-can-eat concession privileges can be purchased for $25.

The Tigers (9-20, 3-13 SEC) tip off with Tennessee (17-11, 9-7) at 9 p.m. ET. The game will be televised by CSS.

No more home cooking: The Auburn women went 12-3 on their home floor this year, capped by a Sunday afternoon win over Mississippi State.

Immediately afterward, senior captain Blanche Alverson already had turned her attention to making sure the Tigers (16-13), who were 4-10 away from Auburn Arena, position themselves nicely for a possible WNIT berth.

First comes the SEC women’s tournament in Duluth, Ga., where No. 11 seed Auburn will face No. 6 LSU Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. ET.

“I think going into the tournament, we need to have confidence in ourselves,” Alverson said. “We’ve competed with mostly every team in this conference. We’ve had a tough road schedule, so to play teams that we’ve lost to, we get to play them on a neutral floor, and we’re looking forward to that … so we’re going to take that confidence we’ve built today and take it over to Atlanta.”

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