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

The Opening Tip: Gameday prep, dunk controversy, History of Rap

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: February 22, 2014 - 10:17 AM

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 amelia.rayno@startribune.com or tweet me @AmeliaRayno.

Disclaimer: The Tip is a little late this morning. But it's Saturday. You guys should all be sleeping in anyway. So stop complaining and just go refill your coffee.

Five tidbits from Columbus, Ohio, where I have this to look forward to (don't hate).

1. In case you missed it in today's Star Tribune: DeAndre Mathieu makes the Gophers go. Or he makes them stop. But it's hard to argue just how important the point guard is to the team. Previewing both teams here.

2. Recruiting update: Gophers 2014 target Kobe Eubanks had 30 points and six rebounds for Our Savior New American in a win over Upper Room; Gophers 2015 target Elijah Thomas finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds and for assists for Lancaster vs. Wylie (via @D1Circuit).

3. Blog shoutout: What are others saying about tonight's game? From The Barn calls it Minnesota's best (but still small) chance to save its season. 

4. Get the flip side from Bob Baptist at the Columbus Dispatch: He looks at just how long ago the Buckeyes' "unthinkable loss" at Minnesota -- as well as the otherwise ugly stretch that surrounded it -- feels, and adds the lineups plus some notes here

5. Bubble watch: ESPN's Eamonn Brennan says the "shine" from the Gophers' gaudy SOS starts to "wear off" when you look a little closer.


BONUS:

*Bracketology: Jerry Palm has the Gophers clinging on, in the play-in game.

*Tweeted: "Big opportunity today for Richard Pitino and Minnesota. Gophers are in Columbus to face Ohio State." #CBSSuperSocial" -- @JonRothstein

*BTN's Brent Yarina is continuing with his campaign to raise awareness about the deadliness of Austin Hollins dunks and how the Gophers guard just might be the best in the league, but his colleague Tom Dienhart polled seven Big Ten writers and apparently no one agreed. My sample size isn't huge, but Sam Thompson can really fly.

*I sincerely hope you didn't miss the History of Rap 5 last night. But if you did, please entertain yourself now.

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