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. Something specific you want ranked? Tweet me.

Five tidbits while I count down the hours until this happens.

1. Recruiting update No. 1: Big man Anas Osama Mahmoud, a 2014 7-2 center who the Gophers had expressed interest in, committed to the elder Pitino, at Louisville yesterday. But a source said that wasn't the Gophers biggest priority at that position -- that honor falls to Kansas 7-footer Bakary Konate -- and they were OK with the loss.

2. Recruiting update No. 2: Gophers asst. Dan McHale was in Brownsburg, Indiana yesterday to watch 2015 6-3 guard K.J. Walton. Minnesota has not yet officially offered.

3. Does Austin Hollins' killer dunk vs. Wisconsin deserve Play of the Year status? Vote here.

4. The Gophers hang at No. 8 in BTN's Stephen Bardo's latest power poll, but drop to No. 9 in Inside the Hall's version.

5. Tweeted:

"How deep is #B1G? Should #Illini win final two, they may be dancing; should they lose, they may finish in last." -- @BTNBrentYarina

"@ESPNLunardi - joe it's one ting to be outside. It's another to mis-spell Nebraska. From now on just please refer to us as #Nebrasketball" -- @CoachMiles

"My Mom said I have to cut the Afro for senior night ... Her wish is my command .......I guess" -- @leeksmith30



Joe Lunardi: Gophers are in
Jerry Palm: Gophers are out
Busting the bracket: Gophers are in

Random rankings:

In light of my trip to First Ave tonight, the top ten shows I've seen in Minneapolis:

Lonely Forest (they were incredible live, actually)
Hooray for Earth (Boston shoutout; also, so good)
Avett Brothers (some of my favorite voices out there)
Black Keys (because they're the Black Keys)
Telekinesis (very strong live)
Los Campesinos (extremely fun live show)
White Rabbits (drummer = wow)
The Thermals (because you get to scream-curse the whole time)
Middle Brother (Dawes, Deertick, Delta Spirit collaboration)
The Love Language (Raleigh shoutout)

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Live chat replay: Talking Big Ten tourney, NCAA tourney and beyond

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Rayno: Other Big Ten teams inching toward the bubble