Twice as nice indeed.
Both the Cardinals and Lady Cards live to play again after Monday's opening day at the NJCAA tournaments.
In the 20th national tournament game in school history, the Cardinals played like they owned the Hutchinson Sports Arena, rolling to a 100-54 win against No. 24-seeded Baltimore City. It was no contest.
As a result, the No. 9-seeded Cardinals (28-4) move on to face No. 8- seed Eastern Florida State (27-4) today at 4:30 p.m. in the second round. At stake will be a quarterfinal berth against the Indian Hills-Barton County winner.
In the rout of Baltimore City, the Cardinals came within a whisker of setting, or at least matching, the school record for points in a national tournament game. The 1982 Cardinals, who finished third at the national tournament, hold the mark in a 102-88 win against Volunteer State.
The Cardinals had the game well in hand at halftime, leading 57-28.
Baltimore City had no answer for the Cardinals' offensive onslaught, which included 13 three-pointers.
Wendell Mitchell led the Cardinals with 24 points, including five three-pointers. Damari Parris finished with 16 points and Andres Ibarguen and Robinson Idehen 11 each.
The Cardinals are now 13-7 in national tournament games.
In terms of seeding, the Lady Cards were part of a day of upsets Monday at the women's tournament.
As the No. 20 seed, the Lady Cards turned in a stellar defensive effort to claim a 51-38 win against the 13th-seeded Lady Norse of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. No. 24 ASA and No. 23 South Georgia Tech also posted wins to advance in the tournament at the Rip Griffin Center.
The Lady Cards (28-5) get a day off today to prepare for a 1 p.m. tipoff Wednesday against No. 4-seeded Jones County (26-3), which received a bye in the first round.
The Lady Cards forced 26 NEO turnovers and held the Lady Norse to a 20 percent shooting effort. NEO hit just 8-of-40 shots from the floor.
Tyasia Moore's 16 points led the Lady Cards. Arleighshya McElroy had 15.
Mercedes Brooks had a game-high 19 rebounds as the Lady Cards held a 49-39 rebounding advantage.
The Lady Cards are now 67-19 in national tournament games.
Wednesday's TVCC-Jones winner will advance to the quarterfinals to play the Cochise-Walters State winner at 5 p.m. Thursday.
We awoke to 32 chilly degrees in Lubbock this morning after a windy Monday. The winds, which should shift from the north to the southwest, are expected to be a little less gusty today as we head to a high of 67. It will be sunny.
After a rainy, raw day in Hutch, today is expected to be partly cloudy with a high of 55. It's 37 to start the day.
Hope everyone enjoys this first day of spring and cheers on the Cardinals this afternoon.
--- BENNY ROGERS