The Opening Tip is a new feature to Gold in the Barn, with the goal being to share five 
nuggets -- mostly Gophers or Big Ten related but occasionally not -- every morning between 8 and 10. Dig it? Hate it? Want to see something specific in it? Send me feedback at or tweet me @AmeliaRayno.

Random Rankings is an even newer feature, which will be included regularly, if not daily. There is nothing too random. Sometthing specific you want ranked? Tweet me.

Five tidbits before I head over to Cafe Zola for some serious brunch.

1. My story in today's Star Tribune on the possibility of finishing the regular season at 8-10 -- which is the best the Gophers have a chance for if they don't win tonight -- and the historical likelihood of getting into the NCAA tournament with that record. Previewing both teams here.  

2. Plus, my national insider of the week: St. Louis doing just what Majarus expected. Includes notes from around college basketball and this week's ever-wacky Big Ten power poll.

3. If you haven't yet, please read this remarkably written story on the gears behind Michigan's quiet rising star, Caris LeVert. Just really wonderfully written by MLive's Brendan F. Quinn.

4. Recruiting update: 2015 potential Minnesota target Desure Buie finished with 17 points, 12 assists, five rebounds and five steals for Wings Academy in a win last night; 2015 big man target Elijah Thomas finished with 17 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks for Lancaster in a win (via D1 Circuit).

5. Good preview from From The Barn on Gophers - Michigan on Saturday, pointing out that partly lucky earned the Wolverines the win the first time around.


*New bracket from CBS Sports' bracketologist Jerry Palm. Gophers sitting in the last four in.

Random rankings:

In light of my flight being delayed (what's new) yesterday, the top five places to land when you're stuck in MSP:

1. Surdyk's Flights. (obviously; good seating options; good wine; great cheese and charcuterie plate, lots of outlets.)

2. Mimosa (I don't necessarily dig the iPad setup as a replacement for service, but the raw bar has always been pretty strong.)

3. Minnebar (strong drinks for when you're really, REALLY delayed.)

4. French Meadow (gets points for gluten free-ness although the quality is not always consistent.)

5. Mill City Tavern (you won't know you're at the airport -- except when you realize you have to cut a pork chop with a plastic knife.)

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Rayno: Thinking about the Gophers postseason

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Osenieks is questionable; Buggs should get another shot