This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

  Follow Rayno on Twitter @AmeliaRayno

Opening Tipoff: Headed to New York

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: March 27, 2014 - 9:55 AM

Five tidbits as a contemplate a plan of attack for New York.

1. If you missed it last night, 1-seed Florida State narrowly beat 3-seed Louisiana Tech in the NIT quarterfinals and now will play the Gophers in the semifinals New York on Tuesday at 8 p.m. CT (of course). Minnesota beat the Seminoles 71-61 back in early December but FSU looked uncharacteristically sluggish in that one, at Williams Arena. The Seminoles have the 30th best effective field goal defense in the nation, according to Last night, they held Louisiana Tech to just a 7-for-25 showing from three-point range.

2. Minnesota is certainly excited about the opportunity to head to New York. My story from the Gophers' 81-73 win over Southern Miss that took them there. 

Plus, Sweet Sixteen games start today. Who's the best team standing? Who has upset potential? My thoughts on the remaining field.

3. A fresh look at the NIT bracket. Heading to NY with Minnesota and Florida State will be SMU and Clemson. The Gophers would play one of those two teams in the championship game if they win on Tuesday.

4. Some video, from moments after the Gophers notched Tuesday's win that would send them to Madison Square Garden. Not a lot of dancers on this team but there are several who find themselves to be crooners.

5. Texas big man (2015) Elijah Thomas narrowed his list to ten yesterday, and the Gophers weren't on it. Richard Pitino and his staff had been going after Thomas hard since taking the job last spring. Thomas final ten schools: USC, Florida, Memphis, Texas, Oregon, Illinois, Ohio State, SMU, Oklahoma State and UNLV. If you put any stock into 247sports' Crystal Ball predictions, however, the Gophers chances at landing Seattle wing Djuan Piper -- who will make his decision in early April -- currently sit at 65 percent.

Bonus: The Big Ten released the Academic All-Big Ten awards yesterday. Minnesota was the only league school not recognized for men's basketball.


"Where has the time gone?" -- @AndreHollins

"Got the win last night ... planning on a NYC takeover." -- @BigggMo

"Down to ten! blessed to be in this position!" -- @EliCTMDThomas15

"#protip for Deandre. Don't try to dunk on a 7'3" guy next week." -- @FromTheBarn

"Just up late thinking about how frustrated I get when chipotle workers are stingey with chicken" -- @KingJoey_24


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters