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.
Cardinal cheerleaders and the Cardinal Regiment Pep Band arrived Monday and will be on hand for today's game. Both groups are always a fan favorite at the Bicentennial Center and give the event an atmospheric boost.
The Lady Cardinals bring a 21-game winning streak into today's game. The have won 68 of their last 69 games. On the court, they have won 68 straight.
Among those with TVCC ties in attendance Monday were Danny Hughes, a former men's basketball player and coach and a member of the Cardinal Hall of Fame, Courtney Simmons, a former Lady Cardinal player and coach, and Brandon Taylor, a former manager for the athletic program. Hughes is now at SMU as an assistant coach. Simmons is now at Louisiana Tech as an assistant coach. Taylor is now at Eastern Oklahoma State as an assistant coach.
All Lady Cardinal tournament games will be available for viewing online at www.njcaatv.ihigh.com. In fact, all tournament games will be webcast. Also, for audio only, you can hear the games at www.KSAL.com.
It’s 34 and clear in Salina this morning. Like yesterday, today’s high is expected to reach 58. Tomorrow is expected to be the last nice day of the week with a high of 52. Starting Thursday, there is a chance of snow/rain showers into the weekend.
Send all your positive vibes and thoughts the Lady Cardinals' way today.
— Benny Rogers, TVCC Sports Information