SALINA, Kan. — With the first day of the 2013 NJCAA Women's National Basketball Tournament in the books, all eyes will be on the Lady Cardinals today as they take to the floor of the Bicentennial Center for the first time.
The No. 1-seeded Lady Cardinals (32-1) are scheduled to take on Weatherford College (25-5) at 2 p.m. Weatherford, the tournament's 16th seed, scored a 72-68 win over Northeast Nebraska in Monday's opening round.
Today's game will be the second meeting between Lady Cardinals and Weatherford this season. Back in November at Cardinal Gym, the Lady Cardinals were a 93-69 winner. Just over a week later, the Lady Cardinals had to forfeit the rematch in Weatherford due to a lack of healthy eligible players. The forfeit represents the lone blemish on the Lady Cardinals' season ledger.
In Monday's other games in the opening round, it was: Blinn 72, Kaskaskia 63; Midland 67, Volunteer State 59; Williston 67, North Idaho 63; Crowder 69, Redlands 64 and Chipola 78, Southwestern Illinois 62. The Williston-North Idaho game produced the only upset, a 21 seed over a 12 seed.
Monday was a good day for Texas teams (women's and men's) on the big stage. Here in Salina, Weatherford, Blinn and Midland all won. In Hutchinson (about 50 miles southwest of Salina), the Lee and Kilgore men's teams won. That's 5-0, if you're keeping score.
The Lady Cardinals will be seeking a milestone national tournament win today. A win against Weatherford would represent the college's 50th national tournament win. In 17 previous national tournament appearances, the Lady Cardinals have compiled a 49-16 record, which, of course, includes six national championships.
The Lady Cardinal-Weatherford winner advances to the quarterfinals to face the Darton State-Blinn winner at 1 p.m. Thursday. Darton State, the No. 8 seed with a 30-3 record, and Blinn (31-3), the No. 9 seed, are scheduled to square off today at 4:30 p.m.